It’s tough to manage a walkout in protest of your place of employment at a time when everyone works from home but if any workplace can do it, Facebook can. That’s just what took place yesterday, as hundreds of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout in protest of the company’s policies on Donald Trump’s posts on the service.
Unlike Twitter, which recently began fact-checking the contentious American president and which marked Trump’s recent tweets concerning ongoing protests as “glorifying violence”, Mark Zuckerberg has attempted to keep Facebook out of the volatile situation. The reasoning, according to Zuckerberg, is that Facebook should be seen as a bastion of free expression, typified by sharing as much information as possible so Facebook can make money off it. Okay, he may not have said that second bit but the social network has opted to take no action at all against the American president.
Nobody liked that
An anonymous Facebook employee, speaking to the New York Times, shared one of the messages posted to an internal Facebook message board.
“The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the US President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression. Along with Black employees in the company, and all persons with a moral conscience, I am calling for Mark to immediately take down the President’s post advocating violence, murder and imminent threat against Black people.”
Other messages were shared with The Verge, with one reading:
“I have to say I am finding the contortions we have to go through incredibly hard to stomach. All this points to a very high risk of a violent escalation and civil unrest in November and if we fail the test case here, history will not judge us kindly.”
Facebook hasn’t had much to say in the wake of the internal protest, telling CNN that “We recognise the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community. We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.” Which, while a lovely statement, doesn’t actually say anything.
Source: The New York Times