Employees and civil rights groups criticize Facebook's inaction in Trump statements

Ruben Fields
June 4, 2020

The employees were unhappy with the action, or rather inaction of the leadership after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to take down Donald Trump's posts. The audio of the employee call was heard by The New York Times.

"(But) I knew that I needed to separate out my personal opinion ... from what our policy is and the principles of the platform we're running are". He added that after he made his determination, he received a phone call from Trump on Friday. Twitter praised the lawsuit in an unsigned tweet, while basting the president's order as "reactionary and politicized".

Trump posted the same message on Facebook and Twitter. Even though Trump's order hasn't taken full effect, CDT said the mere existence of the policy could "chill" speech, undermining efforts by Facebook, Google and Twitter to ensure their platforms are used responsibly during the presidential race.

Mr Zuckerberg also promised review to review policy.

The last-minute town hall was organised to address outrage among employees who staged a "virtual walkout" on Monday in protest against the social networking giant's policies regarding the controversial post - "When the looting begins, the shooting begins", - by Trump that fuelled nationwide anger against the death of African-American George Floyd.

In the letter, they wrote that Facebook's reluctance to limit what politicians can say creates a double standard. "I disagree strongly with how the president spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open", Zuckeberg said, commenting on his decision to leave Trump's post as a publicly viewable message.

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Google is facing yet another lawsuit that claims the search giant collects too much information on users. The lawsuit (available at this link ) was filed Tuesday in the U.S.

More than 95 questions were submitted before the call, Facebook employees said.

Last week, the White House's official account pointed to a 22 May tweet by Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei and accused the social media app of allowing "terrorists, dictators, and foreign propagandists to abuse its platform".

An internal study Facebook's senior executives commissioned in response to criticism about whether the platform had been weaponized by Russians and Trump's team during the 2016 election - and Zuckerberg's own concerns that the site was awash in "sensationalism and polarization" - was shelved.

While the latter slapped a warning on the post, Facebook left it intact. "He did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump's call for violence against protesters", Vanita Gupta, Sherrilyn Ifill and Rashad Robison said in a statement.

"Over the coming days, as the National Guard is now deployed, probably the largest one that I would worry about would be excessive use of police or military force", he said.

After being called out by employees, who has since organised a virtual walkout due to Facebook's inaction over Trump's posts, Zuckerberg stated in the video conference that it will soon release an election hub, similar to its news hub for Covid-19, where voters on its platform can get verified news articles for the USA presidential elections, instead of relying on unverified user-based posts.

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