Protests have gripped the United States. However, it looks like protests have also bled into Facebook as well. Facebook employees are now openly rebelling against Mark Zuckerberg for not policing Donald Trump’s post. Moreover, it looks like Zuckerberg is not backing down from his stance on the matter too!
Facebook employees are out against Zuckerberg
After Mark Zuckerberg announced that he’ll leave Donald Trump’s posts on Facebook unfettered, even if they violated the guidelines of the site. That includes racist and violent languages and promoting misinformation. It might have sat well with Zuckerberg, but it did not sit well with his employees. This was especially amplified by the fact that Twitter did take action against the same posts that Donald Trump tweeted on their platform. Jason Stirman, an R&D Executive of Facebook, tweeted:
I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism.
Moreover, Stirman wasn’t the only Facebook employee to rebel against Zuckerberg. Another engineer, Ryan Chris tweeted:
Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind
Another engineer Lauren Tan tweeted:
Facebook’s inaction in taking down Trump’s post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here.
Now, there’s nothing new in having a dissenting voice in a corporation. But, what’s really astounding is that these voices went public, that too against a person as stubborn as Mark Zuckerberg. The employees at Facebook even staged a “virtual walkout” on Monday, since the offices are closed and everyone is working from home. As much as 400 employees took part in this walkout. However, none of that could convince Zuckerberg to take down Donald Trump’s posts.
Zuckerberg defends his decision
Sadly, the protests by Facebook employees did not come to fruition. According to a report by the New York Times, there was a heated call between Mark Zuckerberg and his employees. They continuously challenged Zuckerberg on the company’s policies and were emotionally charged as well. However, the Facebook CEO did not back down from his stance. As a result, one Facebook software engineer Timothy Aveni resigned as well in protest.
Moreover, a Facebook employee told Business Insider that he understood Zuckerberg’s decision, but couldn’t get past the moral dilemma:
I think there’s a moral imperative to start wading into the admittedly muddy waters of impact and intent … I understand why they’ve acted the way they have, but I question whether it is ultimately sustainable.
Even though the protest didn’t come to fruition, it is still the biggest protest staged by Facebook’s employees in its 16-year history. And considering the times we live in, it shouldn’t be surprising as well. It’s good that Facebook’s employees are standing for their moral values. And by learning how Twitter handled Donald Trump’s tirades, we know that the President’s voice can be fact-checked without any censorship or hampering his right to free speech.