Social Media

No deal between Facebook and Trump, says Zuckerberg

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 21, 2020 Published on July 21, 2020

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday scoffed at suspicions that the social media platform he heads was soft on US President Donald Trump as part of a “deal” with him.

“I’ve heard this speculation, too, so let me be clear: There’s no deal of any kind,” Zuckerberg said in an interview with Axios. “Actually, the whole idea of a deal is pretty ridiculous.”

“I do speak with the president from time to time, just like I spoke with our last president and political leaders around the world,” he said.

‘Lenient treatment’

He had shot down these speculations in a company-wide Q&A last week as well.

“One specific critique that I’ve seen is that there are a lot of people who’ve said that maybe we’re too sympathetic or too close in some way to the Trump administration,” he had said as quoted by the report.

“I just want to push back on that a bit. [W]e need to separate out the fact of giving people some space for discourse, from the positions that we have individually, where I feel like the company and I personally have been,” he had said.

The tech mogul has been under the scanner after his decision to not remove Trump’s post on the Black Lives Matter protestors, which included the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The “lenient treatment” had led to speculation about a closed-door agreement which Zuckerberg has denied.

A similar post had been removed from micro-blogging platform Twitter on grounds of it “glorifying violence.”

“Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric,” Zuckerberg had previously said in a Facebook post explaining his reasons to not pull down the post.

“But I'm responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression. I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” he had said.

This had led to a boycott of the platform by activists and major companies, including Disney, Coca Cola, Hershey, Verizo and Honda, among others, and multiple companies pulling ads from Facebook and Instagram.

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Published on July 21, 2020
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