After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied to act against US President Donald Trump’s post “when the looting starts, shooting starts”, several employees of this social networking giant registered a virtual protest on Twitter asserting that Trump’s post on Facebook could result in violence. In this rare protest, the Facebook workers changed with official profile pictures on Twitter.
The virtual protest by Facebook employees took place after Twitter had labelled Trump’s tweet for violating the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter had determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.
In the labelled tweet, Trump highlighted the protests and riots taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the death of George Floyd in police custody on Monday. Calling the protesters “thugs”, the US President tweeted, “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!”
When the hidden tweet was reposted later by the official White House Twitter account, Twitter had once again labelled the post. According to a CNET report, “A Twitter spokesperson on Friday confirmed that it covered the identical tweet with a label because of the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today.”
On the other hand, Facebook employees organized a virtual protest on Monday by walkout of office as they took a day off from work to join protest to show solidarity against Trump’s post. A report by The New York Times stated that the Facebook workers has also scheduled an automated message with their emailers stating that they were out of the office to show to show their support for demonstrators across the United States and that they do not go in line with the company’s position on Trump’s posts.
Many Facebook employees have threatened to resign while others took to Twitter to criticize Facebook’s decision by tweeting against their own workplace. Here are a few of the tweets by Facebook employees.
I don't know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I'm a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark's decision to do nothing about Trump's recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I'm not alone inside of FB. There isn't a neutral position on racism.
— Stirman (@stirman) May 30, 2020
Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind.
— Ryan Freitas (@ryanchris) June 1, 2020
Censoring information that might help people see the complete picture *is* wrong. But 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.
— Andrew (@AndrewCrow) June 1, 2020
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