Employees protest Facebook's Trump policy — George Floyd death

Elias Hubbard
June 2, 2020

Whilst Twitter had read the post as an incitement to violence, Zuckerberg decided that it was merely a warning to protesters that the police would be shooting at them - thus breaking no rules.

The message also was posted on Facebook, but Mr Zuckerberg chose to let it stand unchallenged. I categorically disagree with any policy that does otherwise.

Angry demonstrations have spread across the United States over the past week, creating some of the most widespread racial unrest since the 1960s.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter's first warning for Trump last week said his claims on a post about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact-checkers.

Reuters saw dozens of online posts from employees critical of Zuckerberg's decision to leave Trump's most inflammatory verbiage unchallenged where Twitter had labeled it.

Though virtual, this was the first time that Facebook workers have staged a walkout in the company's history.

He took it a step further Thursday when he signed an executive order that, while legally fraught, threatens social media companies like Twitter and Facebook by attempting to curb liability protections afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. "As hard as it was to watch, I'm grateful that Darnella Frazier posted on Facebook her video of George Floyd's murder because we all needed to see that".

Another Facebook employee, Jason Toff, tweeted that "I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we're showing up".

Prior to Crow's tweet, Jason Stirman, a member of Facebook's R&D team, posted: "I don't know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable".

President Donald Trump's post about looting was flagged up by Twitter for
Facebook Employees Criticize Mark Zuckerberg Over Trump

Another employee, engineer Lauren Tan, posted to Twitter on Friday, "Facebook's inaction in taking down Trump's post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here".

Nate Butler, a Facebook product designer, added: "I need to be clear - FB is on the wrong side of this and I can't support their stance". Talkspace CEO Oren Frank tweeted he would "not support a platform that incites violence, racism, and lies".

Although Zuckerberg did not apparently make any specific requests, another source familiar with the phone call said he did tell the president that he personally disagreed with Trump's rhetoric and that by using such language, the president was putting Facebook in a hard position. "I will be participating in today's virtual walkout in solidarity with the black community", tweeted Sara Zhang, one of the Facebook employees in the action. The policy pigeon holes us into addressing harmful user-facing content in two ways: "keep content up or take it down".

"We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community", a Facebook spokesman said in an email statement.

"We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership". Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Monday that the company would contribute an additional $10 million to social justice causes.

But it wasn't long before the internal pressure moved to Twitter-and employees took the rare step of tweeting about their frustrations with Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg added that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has also donated large sums of money, "investing ~$40 million annually for several years in organizations working to overcome racial injustice". But he made no mention of Trump's posts.

That's partly because Facebook, a much larger company with a broader audience, targeted by regulators over its size and power, has more to lose.

As well, Facebook has banned some accounts and groups related to the QAnon political conspiracy theory, as well as those violating the site's terms by spreading coronavirus misinformation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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