Zuckerberg denies telling Trump that Facebook wouldn't fact-check politicians in exchange...

midian182

Posts: 7,275   +65
Staff member
A hot potato: Mark Zuckerberg has denied claims he cut a deal with former President Donald Trump's administration in 2019 to avoid fact-checking political posts if it didn't impose "heavy-handed regulations." The claim comes from billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel's new biography, an excerpt of which was published yesterday.

According to Thiel's book, called "The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power," the billionaire venture capitalist joined Zuckerberg, President Trump, Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and their spouses at the White House in 2019.

Author Max Chafkin writes that "the specifics of the discussion were secret — but, as I report in my book, Thiel later told a confidant that Zuckerberg came to an understanding with Kushner during the meal."

"Facebook, he promised, would avoid fact-checking political speech — thus allowing the Trump campaign to claim whatever it wanted. In return the Trump administration would lay off on any heavy-handed regulations."

According to the book, Thiel told a confidant the meeting resulted in an "understanding" that Facebook would push "state-sanctioned conservatism."

In September 2019, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, announced that the company would not be fact-checking posts from politicians. Zuckerberg famously said that it didn't want to be an "arbiter of truth."

During the Black Lives Matter protests, Facebook failed to remove a post from Trump that read, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," despite Twitter hiding the same statement on its platform. The book also notes that Facebook mostly failed to curtail the spread of 'Stop the Steal' groups in the days before the January 6 US Capitol attack.

While the evidence against Facebook might seem quite damning, the dinner described in the book appears to have taken place a month after Clegg's announcement, in October 2019. Clegg also said that the fact-checking policy had been implemented in September 2018.

Facebook communications chief Andy Stone tweeted that Facebook's "policy was announced before this dinner ever took place." Zuckerberg has also refuted the book's claim, calling it "pretty ridiculous."

In June 2021, Facebook extended Trump's ban from the service to two years and promised to stop giving politicians preferential treatment when deciding if a post is newsworthy.

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VitalyT

Posts: 6,026   +6,385
That monumental handshake photo, of the two most loathed people in the world. Seeing those 2 turds making to the top makes you think of the world as a toilet that keeps backing up.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 320   +554
It's true that Facebook has been surprisingly lenient when dealing with misinformation and anti-democratic (small d) voices.

But I'm not sure how much veracity one can expect from a Peter Thiel biography. The cover somehow doesn't mention the words shadowy right-wing vampire so that's one obvious missed opportunity.
 

RudyBob

Posts: 305   +295
That monumental handshake photo, of the two most loathed people in the world. Seeing those 2 turds making to the top makes you think of the world as a toilet that keeps backing up.

Just cause you loathe...don't project
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
Facebook donates money to the democrats in the USA. They are not impartial and have a clear agenda. The two men in the photo hate each other.

Facebook recently banned the song this guy wrote condemning Joe Bidens handling of Afghanistan. On the other hand Trump has been banned for inciting terrorism. All whilst BLM terrorist leaders use the platform to incite riots and violence.

I don’t mind Facebook being biased, everyone is biased. I just wish they’d admit it.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,942   +1,133
Facebook donates money to the democrats in the USA. They are not impartial and have a clear agenda. The two men in the photo hate each other.

Facebook recently banned the song this guy wrote condemning Joe Bidens handling of Afghanistan. On the other hand Trump has been banned for inciting terrorism. All whilst BLM terrorist leaders use the platform to incite riots and violence.

I don’t mind Facebook being biased, everyone is biased. I just wish they’d admit it.

They also donate money to the GOP.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 320   +554
Ok but maybe they just figure today's GOP shouldn't be encouraged?

Perhaps they would be happy to donate more once the party develops principles, policies and maybe some compassion?
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
Ok but maybe they just figure today's GOP shouldn't be encouraged?

Perhaps they would be happy to donate more once the party developed principles, policies and compassion?
I believe that is their opinion. I wish they would be more public about it. But that would undermine their platform.

They should be partisan if you ask me, they own the only digital public square. But they are blatantly biased against republicans and if you are a liberal human being and I mean by the dictionary definition of liberal (you know respecting opinions different to your own) then this should upset you.

Personally I find it laughable that people think the democrats are any more moral or ethical than the republicans. They are both disgusting. At least Trump isn’t suffering from obvious dementure. Although Im not voting for either, Trump is also a climate change denier. There are politicians I’d vote for, probably. I don’t know who they are though! I certainly don’t care what party they belong to.

The only sinister part is how Facebook gets rid of competitors. Where do republicans go after being de-monetised/barred from Facebook? Nowhere currently, it’s a big problem that I feel can only be resolved with things like digital human rights, protections to your online identity, your data and ability to post on online forums. Its actually absurd that Trump is banned and I fear it will only strengthen him.
 

mattferg

Posts: 194   +184
Facebook donates money to the democrats in the USA. They are not impartial and have a clear agenda. The two men in the photo hate each other.

Facebook recently banned the song this guy wrote condemning Joe Bidens handling of Afghanistan. On the other hand Trump has been banned for inciting terrorism. All whilst BLM terrorist leaders use the platform to incite riots and violence.

I don’t mind Facebook being biased, everyone is biased. I just wish they’d admit it.

Facebook actually donates to candidates of both parties as most major corporations do. It’s called “hedging your bets” - you can never lose if both owe you a favour.

It’s only 10% to Republicans atm as most are railing against Facebook and the dems are fully in charge. Go back to 2014 and it’s pretty 50/50, much like the elections were back then. No point being 50/50 now when the public are clearly mostly electing one party rn.