‘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…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly defended the company’s decision to leave President Donald Trump’s posts online after employees demanded that he censor the president.
During a virtual question-and-answer with staff, Zuckerberg said that leaving Trump’s posts about the death of George Floyd and the ensuing riots was “the right action,” according to the New York Times.
“I knew that I would have to separate out my personal opinion,” Zuckerberg said. “Knowing that when we made this decision we made, it was going to lead to a lot of people upset inside the company, and the media criticism we were going to get.”
Much of the criticism stems from Facebook’s decision to leave Trump’s posts alone instead of labeling them with fact checks or removing them entirely.
Despite the claim, Facebook has faced repeated criticism for its past censorship, including recent fact-checks that it implemented on the coronavirus and other hot-button issues that arbitrarily suppressed or contextualized valid points of view.
Nonetheless, Zuckerberg’s remarks came amid growing backlash inside the company over Trump’s rhetoric and a concerted effort by left-wing Trump-haters outside the company to silence and deplatform the president with less than half a year until the presidential election.
Several hundred employees participated in a “virtual” walkout on Monday to protest Facebook’s “inaction.”
“Our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” Zuckerberg said.
Two other major social media companies—Twitter and Snapchat—have recently boosted their efforts. Twitter has controversially begun to assign “fact check” labels to tweets from Trump with which the company disagrees.
This defense was still met by criticism from disgruntled employees, including Jason Toff, director of product management, who said he is “not proud” of Facebook and its position.
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
Zuckerberg’s policy could be an attempt to ease tensions between his company and the Trump administration in light of the president’s recent executive order, which seeks to target certain protections social media platforms currently enjoy.