Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly been holding secret meetings with conservative media pundits, including Tucker Carlson. The Facebook CEO is attempting to “appease” President Donald Trump and steer clear of the Department of Justice’s wrath, a new report claims.
Politico reported that Zuckerberg has been hosting a series of meetings and dinners with conservative journalists and commentators as well as at least one Republican lawmaker. The stated purpose for these meetings is to discuss potential partnerships. However, the report noted that Zuckerberg’s real intention is to appease Donald Trump and appear as if he is responding to the president’s claims that social media is biased against conservatives. Trump threatened to sue Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the Facebook CEO is reportedly worried that the Department of Justice could move to break up the tech giant.
“The discussion in Silicon Valley is that Zuckerberg is very concerned about the Justice Department, under Bill Barr, bringing an enforcement action to break up the company,” a cybersecurity researcher and former government official told Politico. “So the fear is that Zuckerberg is trying to appease the Trump administration by not cracking down on right-wing propaganda.”
Mark Zuckerberg has already come under fire for failing to take action against questionable claims from the president. As The Inquisitr reported, many have called out Facebook for running a Trump campaign ad that makes unfounded claims about corruption involving former Vice President Joe Biden. Several television networks have refused to air the ad, which repeats Trump’s claim that Biden and his son engaged in corrupt activities in Ukraine, but Facebook refused to take it down.
This prompted Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren to take out her own political ad, making an intentionally false claim that Zuckerberg had endorsed Donald Trump.
Though Facebook had instituted a set of new and stricter standards for content after the criticism it faced after the 2016 presidential election, the site recently said it would not be applying the same standard to political ads.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, said in a speech that Facebook would not “intervene” when politicians make false or misleading claims.
“We have a responsibility to protect the platform from outside interference, and to make sure that when people pay us for political ads we make it as transparent as possible. But it is not our role to intervene when politicians speak,” he said, via Engadget.