Writing in New York magazine, author Max Chafkin says that Mr Thiel joined Mr Zuckerberg, Jared Kushner, the president, and their spouses for dinner while on a trip to Washington DC to answer questions from Congress.
Mr Chafkin states that the specifics of the discussion were secret, but Mr Thiel later told a confidant that Mr Zuckerberg came to an understanding with Mr Kushner during the meal that Facebook would avoid fact-checking political speech.
This would allow the Trump campaign to claim whatever it wanted in the build-up to the 2020 election. In return, the Trump administration would lay off on any heavy-handed regulation of social media.
The alleged understanding brokered by MrThiel, Mr Chafkin writes, would see Facebook “push what the Thiel confidant called ‘state-sanctioned conservatism’”.
Mr Zuckerberg denied that there had been any deal with the Trump campaign, calling the notion “pretty ridiculous”, according to Mr Chafkin. The Independent contacted Facebook for further comment.
The author calls the denial “not entirely credible”, contrasting action taken by Twitter to restrict the president’s inflammatory posts during the election campaign with inaction by Facebook until after the 6 January insurrection.
Mr Chafkin frames Mr Zuckerberg as an acolyte of Mr Thiel, an early investor in Facebook, who he says “wrote the book on monopoly capitalism”.