Billionaire investor and Facebook board member Peter Thiel is advising Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social media giant, not to bow to public pressure over how the company deals with U.S. politics, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The newspaper, in a report on Tuesday, attributed the information to “people familiar with the matter.” They claim Thiel has pushed for Facebook to keep to its decision to accept political ads and not fact-check those from politicians.
But some directors and executives are arguing for changes in the policy and have raised the issue of banning all political ads, the Journal said.
The sources said Thiel is attempting to extend his influence while the company’s board and senior ranks attempt to regroup. During the last two years more than a dozen executives have left or announced they were leaving the company, the Journal reported.
Thiel declined comment for the story.
A company spokesman said: “Many of the decisions we’re making at Facebook come with difficult trade-offs and we’re approaching them with careful rigor at all levels of the company, from the board of directors down,” a Facebook spokesman said. “We’re fortunate to have a board with diverse experiences and perspectives so we can ensure debate that reflects a cross section of views.”
The newspaper noted that Thiel’s outspoken conservative and libertarian views are contrary to the liberal Silicon Valley community. But some sources describe the relationship between Thiel and Zuckerberg as an alliance.
“Mark is friends with Peter Thiel and a lot of Republicans,” said a former Facebook employee. “It’s a reality people aren’t willing to accept.”
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