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Facebook Employees Protest Mark Zuckerberg's Passive Approach To Trump's Posts

Alessio Jacona
Creative Commons
Facebook employees protested CEO Mark Zuckerberg's hands-off approach to President Trump's tweets

As Americans across the nation are protesting the police killing of George Floyd today, Facebook employees are staging a virtual walkout.

They’re protesting their boss Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to impose stricter rules on how President Trump uses the platform.

On Thursday night, Trump tweeted a phrase long associated with a bigoted Miami police chief during the civil rights era in 1967.

He wrote: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The post remains untouched on Facebook. But Twitter labeled it as violating its policy against hosting messages inciting violence.

Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post that he read it as a warning to protesters. That meant that the post contained useful information and so was allowed to stay up. Several top-level executives publicly disagreed with Zuckerberg’s decision.

According to the New York Times, some threatened to resign, and many employees are refusing to go to work today.

Facebook also stayed silent as the president made a misleading claim about mail-in voting, and fraud. For its part, Twitter inserted a link to news articles fact-checking the president.

The development caps a years-long public debate about the responsibilities that social media platforms have when it comes to curbing incitements to violence and the spread of misinformation.

Sarah Lai Stirland is a freelance journalist and editor living in the South Bay. Her reporting background is in technology, science writing, law and policy. For the past few years, she's written about issues related to aging.