Mark Zuckerberg Reportedly Promised to Avoid Fact-Checks of Political Speech So Trump Would Lay Off on Regulating Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg Reportedly Pledged to Stop Political Fact-Checks in Exchange for Trump Avoiding Facebook Regulation

Mark Zuckerberg Saul Loeb/Getty Images

A new book says that Mark Zuckerberg and Jared Kushner struck a secret pact during a 2019 dinner at the White House — the details of which are truly stunning.

According to an excerpt of The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power published by New York Monday, Zuckerberg pledged to avoid having Facebook fact-check political speech — thus allowing former President Donald Trump free rein to make all the outlandish claims he wanted. In exchange, according to author Max Chafkin — who serves as a reporter at Bloomberg Businessweek — the Trump administration agreed not to impose heavy regulations on the social media giant.

Zuckerberg denied striking a deal with Trump, with Chafkin quoting Zuckerberg as calling the idea of a pact “pretty ridiculous.” Yet Facebook has received intense criticism of late over the spread of misinformation on its platform. Chafkin flagged a post from Trump which read,” When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” That comment had been hidden on Twitter but was allowed to circulate on Facebook.

Trump was eventually suspended from Facebook. on Jan. 7 — the day after the Capitol riot. That ban, Facebook announced in June, will last at least two year.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo