His CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg made a secret deal with President Donald Trump, turning a blind eye to his lies and inflammatory posts in the hope that the social media giant will not become the president's next target. Rumors of this kind have been circulating for months, but Zuckerberg himself denies them, saying that there is no such agreement.
"I have heard this rumor too, so let me be clear: There is no agreement," Zuckerberg said. "In fact, the whole idea of a deal is very ridiculous."
The comments come in response to growing concerns about Zuckerberg's relationship with the president, which has remained cordial despite concerns about the president's use of social media. The NBC News reported last year that Trump hosted Zuckerberg at a secret White House dinner. The dinner came just a week after Zuckerberg made a speech confirming that Facebook would not control political ads, allowing Trump to share misleading videos, ads and posts to the largest social network of the world.
Since then, the president and his supporters have taken advantage of Facebook's stance by sharing campaign videos and lies about voting by mail. There have also been incidents in which Facebook did not appear to have removed misinformation posts spread by right-wing parties.
Facebook refuses to remove certain posts, such as Trump's response to protests in Minneapolis against racist police violence ("when the looting starts, the shootings start") has definitely cost the company. Facebook is facing staff strikes and boycotts of advertisers because of its stance, but Trump, who is happy to be at odds with tech giants like Amazon and Twitter, does not deal with Facebook at all and something like this has not gone unnoticed.
Zuckerberg and Facebook's response to the accusations of a deal was to highlight the various disagreements they had with the White House on issues such as immigration policy and climate change. Speaking at dinner with Trump last year, CEO Facebook also noted that it is almost unlikely to meet with heads of state.
"I accepted the invitation to dinner because I was in town and he is the president of the United States," Zuckerberg said. "I also had many meals and meetings with the President Obama, both in White House as well as outside, including the event for him at Facebook headquarters. ”
Even if there is no formal agreement, this does not mean that the interests of Zuckerberg and Trump are not common. Zuckerberg wants to avoid accusations of his anti-conservative stance and the investigations surrounding it, while Trump wants to continue to be able to say what he wants to the American public without fear of censorship.
Zuckerberg has been shaping Facebook's rules to match Trump's views for some time. In 2015, as Trump began attracting supporters as a candidate, he posted a video on Facebook in which he said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. According to the publication, the video angered many Facebook employees who said that it violated the company's policies for hate speech, but Zuckerberg eventually let the video remain online due to its "journalistic value".
In other words, if Zuckerberg did make a deal with Trump a long time ago.