Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Monday confirmed reports that he had hosted a series of dinners with right-wing figures, as the social media platform stands accused of stifling conservative voices.
Zuckerberg held small, off-the-record dinners with journalists, commentators and at least one Republican lawmaker to talk about free speech, partnerships and other issues, the Politico news website said.
“There’s some press today discussing dinners I’ve had with conservative politicians, media and thinkers,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“Meeting new people and hearing from a wide range of viewpoints is part of learning. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do!”
Politico said that guests at recent events, held at Zuckerberg’s various homes in California, included Fox News host Tucker Carlson, radio talk host Hugh Hewitt and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
US President Donald Trump has often complained that social media outlets discriminate against him and his supporters, without providing evidence.
Politico said the dinners, which began in July, were part of Zuckerberg’s efforts to communicate with conservatives amid the accusations from Trump and his allies of bias.
Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have been under pressure to reduce the spread of lies and misinformation.
But the platforms have also allowed politicians including Trump leeway over their user rules, seeking to avoid quashing debate and to keep “newsworthy” content online.
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden recently asked Facebook to take down “debunked” claims in a Trump ad, only to be rebuffed.
‘It’s only $4.99 per month’: Trump urges supporters to sign up for network that went to Ukraine with Giuliani
President Donald Trump on Friday night urged his 67 million Twitter followers to pay for a monthly subscription to watch Facebook video from a far-right Fox News competitor.
Shortly after 10 p.m. eastern, the commander-in-chief retweeted a solicitation from the One America News network.
[caption id="attachment_1569174" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Screengrab of President Donald Trump's retweet of a One America News solicitation.[/caption]
Maddow destroys ‘bad faith’ complaints about impeachment from Republican Trump supporters
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Friday blasted "bad faith" arguments from Republicans about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Maddow recounted the process complaints by Republicans -- each of which has disappeared.
"After going through all of that, they now have unveiled a new objection as to why President Trump cannot actually be subject to this impeachment proceeding, a new noble stand they're taking for fairness and the American way -- they have rolled it out with our friends at the Fox News channel," Maddow said.
She played a clip of former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich on Fox News.
Everyone is baffled by Trump’s rambling rant about flushing toilets ’10 times, 15 times’
Another day, another truly baffling series of words coming from President Donald Trump’s mouth.
Speaking at a White House meeting on Friday about small business and regulation, Trump went on one of his trademark riffs, touching on a number of subjects with the clarity of a muddy puddle. He seemed to be referring to a series of complaints that have been raised over the years about various consumer product regulations (a favorite topic of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky) but without making a coherent point about any of them.
Read the whole stream of consciousness rant to get a sense of what it was like: