More trouble brewing for Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook employees stage a walkout against Trump posts
We had reported how Mark Zuckerberg had discretely distanced himself and Facebook from the raging Twitter vs Trump controversy after a phone call with President Trump. It seems that Zuckerberg’s neutral policy regarding Trump has not been taken kindly by Facebook employees.
Yesterday Facebook employees staged a unique protest by walking away from their work-from-home desks. They were protesting against Mark Zuckerberg’s policy of allowing unrestricted access to President Donald Trump’s post on Facebook. The readers should remember that President Trump’s tweets are cross-posted on Facebook and have a huge following among FB users. While Twitter labeled President Trump’s tweets as glorifying violence, the FB posts didn’t have such a warning or label.
The Facebook employees took to Twitter to accuse chief executive Zuckerberg of inadequately policing US President Donald Trump’s posts as strictly as the rival platform has done. There are at least a dozen online posts from employees critical of Zuckerberg’s Trump policy. Many top-level Facebook managers participated in the protest. They say that Zuckerberg’s neutrality and Trump’s recent posts incite violence and ignore Facebook’s founding principle of keeping the communities safe.
Facebook employee Jason Toff tweeted Monday that he was “not proud” of how the company was “showing up.
I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.
— Jason Toff (@jasontoff) June 1, 2020
Another Facebook employee, Ryan Chris also made his feelings known on Twitter.
Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind.
— Ryan Freitas (@ryanchris) June 1, 2020
Facebook designer, David Gillis has this to say.
I believe Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet (cross-posted to FB), encourages extra-judicial violence and stokes racism. Respect to @Twitter’s integrity team for making the enforcement call.
— David Gillis (@davegillis) May 31, 2020
Another post by seven engineers on the team maintaining the React code library which supports Facebook said, “recent decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. We implore the Facebook leadership to #TakeAction," they said in a joint statement published on Twitter.”
Talkspace CEO statement regarding Facebook
In a separate piece of news, Talkspace CEO, CEO Oren Frank tweeted Monday that his company would not do business with Facebook until remove Trump’s post. “We at @Talkspace discontinued our partnership discussions with @Facebook today,” Frank wrote. “We will not support a platform that incites violence, racism, and lies. #BlackLivesMatter,” Oren wrote in the tweet.
Talkspace CEO’s tweet looks like an attempt to garner free publicity as highly placed sources in Facebook confirmed that there was no content-sharing agreement with Talkspace in place. The Talkspace CEO hinted it as such when he told CNBC, “Talkspace was in talks with Facebook to provide content and, in some situations, free therapy for individuals. Frank’s cancellation of the deal cost the company “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Facebook hasn’t officially reacted against the employee walkout protests or the Talkspace CEO’s declaration. Zuckerberg had defended his position to leave Trump’s posts on Facebook alone.
“I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up,” Zuckerberg wrote, “but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause an imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies”
Zuckerberg in a FB post
In another statement yesterday, Facebook said it encouraged its employees to “speak openly when they disagree with leadership.”