Social media giant Facebook dismissed an employee who had criticized Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to take action against posts by U.S. President Donald Trump which violated racism.
Brandon Dail, a user interface engineer, wrote on Twitter that he was dismissed from Facebook for publicly scolding a colleague who had refused to include a statement of support for the Black Lives Matter movement on developer documents he was publishing.
Dail sent the tweet a day after joining dozens of employees, including the six other engineers on his team, in abandoning their desks and tweeting objections to Zuckerberg’s handling of Trump’s posts in a rare protest.
“Intentionally not making a statement is already political,” Dail wrote in the tweet. He said on Friday that he stood by what he wrote.
Facebook confirmed Dail’s characterization of his dismissal, but declined to provide additional information.
Trump’s posts which prompted the staff outcry included the racially charged phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to protests against racism after the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
Twitter affixed a warning label to the same post, saying it glorified violence. Facebook opted to leave the post untouched.
Zuckerberg defended his decision at a tense all-hands meeting with employees that week.
Dail again voiced objections this week after both Facebook and Twitter declined to take action against a Trump post that contained an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about Martin Gugino, a 75-year-old protester who was critically injured by police in Buffalo, New York.
“Trump’s attack on Martin Gugino is despicable and a clear violation [of] Facebook’s anti-harassment rules. It’s again extremely disappointing that we (and Twitter) haven’t removed it,” he said.