Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responds to report he's been meeting with conservatives

The report in Politico helped spur the #DeleteFacebook hashtag.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently oversees the CNET breaking news desk for the West Coast. Corinne covers everything from phones, social media and security to movies, politics, 5G and pop culture. In her spare time, she watches soccer games, F1 races and Disney movies.
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Corinne Reichert

News that Mark Zuckerberg has been quietly meeting with conservative figures prompted the #DeleteFacebook hashtag to trend.

Angela Lang/CNET

Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday he meets with lots of people because that's "part of learning," a comment prompted by a report detailing a series of quiet meetings the  Facebook  boss has had with conservative figures in the US over the summer. The meetings, in the form of small, off-record dinners at his homes since July, have included conservative talkshow hosts, journalists and at least one Republican lawmaker, Politico reported earlier in the day.

"There's some press today discussing dinners I've had with conservative politicians, media and thinkers," Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. "To be clear, I have dinners with lots of people across the spectrum on lots of different issues all the time."

According to an unnamed person quoted by Politico, the dinners have been focused on "free expression, unfair treatment of conservatives, the appeals process for real or perceived unfair treatment, fact checking, partnerships and privacy."

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report comes as Facebook's policies toward what speech is acceptable on its platform continue to make waves. Over the weekend, Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, ran a Facebook ad containing false statements to protest the social network allowing false statements from politicians to be posted on the platform.

The Politico report helped push #DeleteFacebook to No. 2 on Twitter's trending list in the US. As of 3:00 p.m. PT it had more than 21,000 tweets.