Facebook employees publicly revolt against the company's political stance

Facebook logo on phone
Facebook logo on phone (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Facebook employees have come out to publicly criticize Zuckerberg's handling of a Donald Trump post last week.
  • Employees have also staged a virtual workout in protest and in solidarity with protestors across the U.S.
  • Zuckerberg has promised to donate an additional $10 million to nonprofits tackling racial justice.

Facebook employees are openly revolting against CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the company's decision to leave a post by Donald Trump, censured on Twitter for being an incitement to violent, up on its platform.

For some, it went further than simply allowing the story to stay up on its platform, "Mark Zuckerberg Comes to Trump's Defense," The New Republic's headline went as the CEO went on Fox News to denounce Twitter. It's against this backdrop that Facebook employees finally spoke out in open revolt.

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The criticism didn't spring out of nowhere. The Verge reported on the internal debate that spawned once Facebook had decided that Trump's post would find a home on its platform unopposed.

Would it be possible to explain in more detail the interpretation of our community standards?" one employee asked. "Does this post violate them but get an exemption, or is it not violating?"But by mid-afternoon Pacific time on Friday, employees had not received a response — and they were beginning to grow frustrated. "It's egregious that nobody from policy has chimed in or provided any sort of context here," one employee said. When another employee defended Facebook's silence by suggesting that top executives were likely debating their next steps, the original poster replied: "They've already made an official decision by keeping the post up after it's been reported. They should communicate their justification for the decision."Another employee suggested that no one had responded to them "because Facebook's community of employees has demonstrated many times that private deliberations will be leaked to the press and taken out of context.""I don't think employees are asking anything here that the public doesn't deserve to know," a colleague responded. But another post viewed by The Verge suggests that an initial review of Trump's "shooting" post "was deemed to be non-violating.""Makes me sad and frankly ashamed," one employee wrote in response. "Hopefully this wasn't the final assessment? Hopefully there is still someone somewhere discussing how and why this is clearly advocating for violence?"

Amid this backdrop, Mark Zuckerberg this weekend pledged $10 million to nonprofits engaged in the work of battling racial injustice across America. The CEO says that this will be in addition to the $40 million already donated on an annual basis. "I hope that as a country we can come together to understand all of the work that is still ahead and do what it takes to deliver justice -- not just for families and communities that are grieving now, but for everyone who carries the burden of inequality," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.

Like with YouTube's donation, critics were quick to point out that Facebook's platform contributes to the injustice the donation purports to help address. And for the employees who carried out a virtual walkout today, it wasn't enough.

From the Editor's Desk: Protest under assault

  • The idiocy is so strong it burns!!
  • Every company has whacko employees. Facebook has more than most. This is hardly newsworthy.
  • Long time ago, I had a coworker who, more by ignorance than by vocation, ended up working for the armaments manufacturer straight out of college. Once he figured out what is it his employer is doing, he put his money where his mouth is and moved on to the employer who better matched his ideas and beliefs. That guy has my deepest respect, even if I didn't always agree with him... the Facebook employees above, no they do not.
  • It's crazy how a person can be so passionate about a button placement on phone. But on the other hand be so dismissive about human equality.
  • This! Humanity is being squashed by extremism. Not long now before people literally have zero emotional reaction to even the death of a loved one.
  • Funny. I don't see "Determine Company Policy" as a job duty for any of these self righteous virtue signaling SJWs. Employees have a constitutional right to freedom of association - they don't have to be associated with Facebook if they don't want to be. But they don't own Facebook, and they don't have the responsibility of running a global corporation that serves billions, a plurality of whom most certainly have different points of view. If these folks don't like working at Facebook, they can resign and few would hold that against them. They can take their talent wherever they feel would do the most good. That will work out much better than getting fired for insubordination, because they are certainly not going to be able to earn the positions of power that would be needed to effect the kind of change they want to see. Unless Facebook is intent on committing suicide, these people just cut their promotion potential by leaps and bounds.
  • Can only imagine the spread of Covid19.🤣🤣🤣 at those protests
  • What you won't hear are the employees that are in support of Mr. Z.
    Employees in support of any Republican (not just Trump), gets tarred and feathered.
  • None of the links in the article show the actual tweets that were censored. Michael Allison/Android Authority conveniently omitted them as well, so I looked them up. During the Minneapolis riots, Trump tweeted:
    "I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right" Followed by:
    "These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!" Twitter and the disgruntled Facebook employees want everyone to think Trump's last tweet was a dog whistle to incite violence. Regardless of your political leaning and whether you love or hate Trump, any president would have to be out of their darnn mind to endorse mass violence and gunning down civilians. Trump obviously meant the national guard and local law enforcement must control looting with the threat of armed and deadly force if necessary, because the local government lost control of the situation. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what Trump was conveying.
  • Facebook has remained silent over Trump's obvious mania & helped Republican interests for years.
    It was directly involved in propoganda projects for BREXIT in the UK. That was despicable. For this & many other reasons I've totally avoided Facebook.
  • Inciting violence is offering money to bail out the rioters, not trying to stop the riots. But non of the celebrities offering to do this had their tweet or FB msg changed, deleted, added a warning or was fact check. I have not heard one person from President Trump to King James say they are against protest. But not to many on the left are saying they are against riots. They like the fear, that is how they think they can get and keep the power.
  • I see the conservatives are riled up again