Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised then-President Trump that he would not censor his political speech on the social network.
According to a new book (The Contrarian) by journalist Max Chafkin about Trump supporter Peter Thiel, Zuckerberg "liked" the American president to avoid problems on the social network from the Trump administration.
In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic and the presidential election, there was a report of a secret dinner between Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then-President Donald Trump.
Zuckerberg was in Washington, DC for a congressional hearing concerning the digital currency Libra. While in town, he accepted Trump's invitation to a White House dinner.
In a statement, Zuckerberg on Facebook described the meal as completely "normal".
"As is normal for a CEO of a large American company, Mark accepted an invitation to dinner with the President and the First Lady at the White House." Reported a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News in 2019 without giving further details about what was discussed.
Chafkin (The Contrarian)'s new book about Trump supporter and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, released Tuesday, sheds light on what was discussed over dinner.
Thiel was present at the 2019 dinner, along with Trump, Zuckerberg and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. According to an excerpt from The Contrarian, published Monday in the NY Mag, Thiel told a "trustee" about an "understanding" between Zuckerberg and Kushner.
Facebook "will continue to avoid controlling political discourse."
The alleged deal, Chafkin said, allowed Trump - as well as other politicians - to continue to say whatever they wanted on social media without being controlled.
As long as Facebook continued to control political discourse, Trump would not force the social network into the "strict regulations" that Congress then sought.