The New York Times, with no evidence beyond reports of a meeting between President Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg, has created the conspiracy theory that the Facebook CEO may have a secret deal with the president to favor him in the 2020 presidential race.
The article’s subheading worries that Zuckerberg, because of one solitary White House meeting with the president, has got “too close” to President Trump, and even quotes a Democrat Big Tech operative who claims (without evidence) that Silicon Valley somehow “tacked right” after the election.
“All the big companies tacked to the right after Trump won, and Facebook probably moved farther than the others,” said Nu Wexler, a Democrat who worked in policy communications for Facebook in Washington. “But the politics of tech are changing, and companies should be worried about Democrats as well. The days of just keeping the president happy are over.”
An internal memo leaked to Breitbart News from inside Google claims the exact opposite, that all big tech companies including Facebook “shifted toward censorship” after Trump won.
According to the article, the person courting Facebook most of all is Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. It was, according to the New York Times, Kushner who arranged the meeting between the President and Zuckerberg, and that Kushner called the Facebook CEO regularly at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Zuckerberg, a Facebook executive said, seems to view Mr. Trump as a peer. By contrast, he told amused top aides at one of his regular Monday meetings in March that Mr. Kushner was calling him so often about help with the administration’s coronavirus response that he couldn’t keep up, two people familiar with the meeting said. (“Mark does not think of himself as a peer to this president or any president,” a Facebook spokesman, Tucker Bounds, said, adding that Mr. Zuckerberg had initiated the conversation with Mr. Kushner about the coronavirus response.)
The New York Times even quotes Facebook critics who claim, without evidence, the existence of a secret deal between Trump and Facebook.
“I believe they have a deal,” said Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor who is now a fierce critic, who added that it was “probably implied rather than explicit.”
Yet despite all this, the article can’t escape the fact that Facebook, like other big tech companies, censors the President’s posts based on flimsy standards that it does not apply to Democrats. Most recently, the platform deleted an ad from the President attacking Antifa, on the basis that one of the Antifa symbols used in the post — an upside-down red triangle — was similar to a symbol once used by the Nazis.
In 2018, a major algorithm change by Facebook resulted in President Trump’s engagement on the platform being cut almost in half. This came after a year of lobbying from Media Matters, the far-left advocacy group whose sole purpose is to smear and damage conservatives and conservative media. In a memo leaked in 2017, Media Matters boasted of its close relationship with Facebook.
Facebook also blacklisted a number of prominent supporters of President Trump, including congressional candidate Laura Loomer, InfoWars host Alex Jones, British Islam critic Tommy Robinson, pundit and author Gavin McInnes, and many others. This is the company that the New York Times’ experts claim “tacked to the right” after 2016.
Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address email@example.com.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.