Mark Zuckerberg agreed not to fact check political posts as part of deal with Trump: New book
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a new firestorm over the social network's handling of Russian misinformation efforts in the 2016 US election season AFP/File / GERARD JULIEN

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg agreed to push conservatism on his platform as part of an agreement with the Trump administration, according to a new book.

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel told a confidant that he and Zuckerberg met with the former president, Jared Kushner and their spouses at the White House in 2019, where the Facebook founder promised not to fact check political speech if the administration agreed not to impose heavy-handed regulations, according to excerpts from The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power published by New York Magazine.

"Facebook had long seen itself as a government unto itself," wrote author Max Chafkin, "now, thanks to the understanding brokered by Thiel, the site would push what the Thiel confidant called 'state-sanctioned conservatism.'"

Zuckerberg denied the deal, calling the idea "pretty ridiculous," but the social media platform allowed Trump posts seemingly calling for violence against Black Lives Matter protesters that Twitter removed, and the company mostly ignored calls to limit "Stop the Steal" groups after the former president's election loss.

Trump remains suspended from Facebook for two years following the Jan. 6 insurrection.