Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has backed the company’s decision not to take action on a post by President Donald Trump that some employees believe could incite violence,media reported. Zuckerberg is understood to have told company employees that he had made a difficult decision, but it was quite thorough.
In a post on Twitter and Facebook, Mr. Trump is understood to have written in a post on Twitter and Facebook that “when the robbery began, the shooting began.” It all began when George Floyd, a black Minnesota man, suffocated to death after being hit in the neck by a white police officer, followed by protests across the country, one of Mr. Trump’s responses to the incident.
In response, Twitter blocked the president’s tweet, saying it violated the company’s rules against glorifying violence. But Twitter said that because the president’s text was of public interest, users could click on the view button in the post to read the tweet.
Facebook, by contrast, chose to “let go” in dealing with Mr. Trump’s comments. In response, Facebook noted that the company kept the post because it referred to the National Guard, so it interpreted it as a warning of the state’s behavior. He also noted that Mr. Trump later clarified that his post was a warning of how looting could lead to violence.
A Facebook spokesman said: “Open and honest discussion has always been part of Facebook’s culture. Mark had a public discussion with his employees today, as he has often done for years. He was grateful for their feedback. “
However, Facebook employees are reportedly divided over whether the company did the right thing about Mr. Trump’s post. The social network usually takes a non-interventionist approach to posts and ads posted by politicians, but takes action when content can pose an immediate risk of specific harm or danger. The company sets a higher standard for removing political speech, arguing that people should have the right to see what politicians say.
A Facebook employee, who did not want to be named, told Business Insider that he believed the company had technically implemented the policy, but questioned whether the rules were ultimately sustainable.
Other employees publicly expressed their disappointment at the meeting on Twitter. Brandon Dail, a Facebook engineer, tweeted: “Today it is clear that the leadership is refusing to stand with us. “
Some Facebook employees have threatened to resign, and some have stuck to it. On Tuesday, Timohty Aveni, a Facebook software engineer, posted on the social networking site and LinkedIn that he would leave on June 12.
“Mark always told us that he would limit the rhetoric that calls for violence. He proved to us on Friday that this was a lie. Every time Mr. Trump escalates, Facebook keeps changing its goals, looking for an excuse after another to not act on increasingly dangerous rhetoric. Aveni wrote on Facebook.
It’s unclear how many Facebook employees will choose to resign in protest. The company is known to employ more than 48,200 people worldwide. Facebook did not respond to questions about how many people would leave the company.