Facebook staff have raised their voices against the decision not to remove or tag a controversial post by Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump repeated his tweet on Facebook regarding the ongoing protests in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s assassination.
Twitter had placed a warning label on the tweet, as it claimed the tweet “glorified violence”. However, Facebook said that it did not affect the policy.
Staff members reacted over it. Some staff said they were ‘ashamed’.
Trump had said he would “send in the National Guard”. He had also warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg had said that it did not violate the company’s regulations.
Some employees leaving an out-of-office messageto protest against the decision.
Mark Zuckerberg said in a post, “People can agree or disagree on where we should draw the line, but I hope they understand our overall philosophy is that it is better to have this discussion out in the open, especially when the stakes are so high,”
“I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open.”
Several employees shared their views.
Lauren Tan, a software engineer said, “Facebook’s inaction in taking down Trump’s post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here,”
“I absolutely disagree with it… Silence is complicity.”
Another person said that Facebook should create an exception to the policy. David Gillis a director in product design at Facebook said, “We need to strive harder as a company, and industry, to have our Black colleagues’ and fellow citizens’ backs so that they are not having to face down institutionalized societal violence and systemic oppression alone,”
However, a spokesperson of Facebook said that the company “recognizes the pain” staff were having.
He said, “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,”
Joseph Evans, head of the tech at Enders Analysis said that staff at tech firms do speak out against their employers’ decisions on occasion; in 2018 Google staff walked out in protest against the firm’s treatment of women.”Part of the appeal of working for these companies is that the employees feel they’re changing the world, and hopefully for the better,”
“So the tech giants have to balance avoiding regulatory crackdowns, keeping profits high, and attracting and retaining their highly-skilled workforce.”