Daily US Times: To protest CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to take action on a series of controversial posts from President Donald Trump last week, some Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout, a person familiar with it told.
Employees took the day off work as part of the walkout. According to the source, managers at Facebook have been told by the company’s human resources department not to retaliate against staff who are planning to protest, or to make them used paid time-off.
The walkout comes alongside a rare wave of public dissent from Facebook employees on Twitter. A design manager at Facebook, Jason Stirman, said he disagreed with Zuckerberg’s decision to do “nothing” about Trump’s recent posts.
He wrote in a tweet on Saturday: “I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism.”
Over the weekend, Andrew Crow, head of design for Facebook’s Portal devices, tweeted: “Giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it’s newsworthy.”
“I disagree with Mark’s position and will work to make change happen.”
“We recognize 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,” a spokesperson told CNN.
The public pushback from employees comes after growing scrutiny of Facebook’s inaction about the President’s tweet.
For the first time, Twitter affixed a fact-check label to multiple Trump tweets about mail-in ballots and days later put a warning label on a tweet from Trump about the protest, in which he warned: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” While identical posts appeared on Facebook, the company chose to do nothing.
After backlash of Facebook’s inaction about Trump’s posts, CEO Mark Zuckerburg wrote in a Facebook post on Friday: “I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets and posts all day. Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.”
“But I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression,” Mr Zuckerburg added.
Zuckerburg and Trump spoke on the phone Friday, a source familiar with the call previously told.
The Facebook chief is facing criticism for doing nothing about Trump’s posts despite he previously told Congress that posts inciting violence would not be tolerated on Facebook.