Facebook employees walk out over hands-off approach to Trump's post

Clay Curtis
June 2, 2020

Facebook declined to take action on the same message, with Zuckerberg saying in a Facebook post on Friday that while he found the remarks "deeply offensive", they did not violate company policy against incitements to violence and people should know whether the government was planning to deploy force. He added that he was "not alone inside of FB".

Even as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey added a fact-check to one of Trump's tweets and a warning label to another one last week, Zuckerberg has remained studiously neutral, arguing that he wants to preserve free speech on his platform and avoid curating content.

Andrew Crow, the head of design for Facebook's Portal video-phone, tweeted: "Giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it's newsworthy".

Since then, however, more Facebook employees have come forward to complain. Twitter slapped a warning label on the tweet about mail-in voting, as well as a public interest notice on the tweet about the Minneapolis protests for violating its rules regrading glorifying violence.

"It's clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don't amplify bias", he wrote.

"Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric", Zuckerberg said.

"People can agree or disagree on where we should draw the line, but I hope they understand our overall philosophy is that it is better to have this discussion out in the open, especially when the stakes are so high", Mr Zuckerberg wrote in a post on the platform. "More than a dozen current and former employees have described the unrest as the most serious challenge to the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, since the company was founded 15 years ago", the publication wrote.

Facebook's Director of Product Management Jason Toff protested the company's decision on Twitter, Monday, posting, "I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we're showing up". "The majority of co-workers I've spoken to feel the same way".

Trump's controversial message in question was posted to both his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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"We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership".

Facebook said it "recognised the pain" many staff were feeling.

"We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this", Zuckerberg told Fox News in an interview recorded after Twitter's decision and broadcast on May 28. "As we face additional hard decisions around content ahead, we'll continue seeking their honest feedback".

Executives and companies across the tech industry, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Netflix, as well as Salesforce, Slack, Uber and Twitter, expressed their support for anti-racism and criminal justice campaigns, through messages to employees, on their homepages or through official social media accounts.

Meanwhile, Facebook allowed the same post to stand unaltered on its site.

To make matters worse, USA media revealed Sunday that Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump spoke by telephone on Friday. But the move doesn't appear to have affected employees' decision to walk out on Monday.

Even as Facebook continues to take a hands-off approach to monitoring violent rhetoric and disinformation on its platform, the company will make a $10 million donation "to groups working on racial justice" in the US, according to a late Sunday night post from chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

Late Sunday, Zuckerberg again posted on Facebook, pledging a $10 million donation to racial justice groups.

Trump immediately criticized Twitter for its decision to warn users about the tweet.

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