Facebook employees break from Zuckerberg, demand platform censor Trump
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June 2, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – With tensions rising over social media platforms’ unequal treatment of liberal and conservative content, some Facebook employees are speaking out against their boss Mark Zuckerberg’s declaration that President Donald Trump should not be censored.
Twitter set off a firestorm last week when it placed a “fact-check” on a Trump tweet pertaining to the fraud potential of mail-in voting, then censoring another tweet stating that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” pertaining to the Minneapolis riots. The company claimed that tweet was “glorifying violence.”
“Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric,” Zuckerberg said Friday. “But our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies. We looked very closely at the post that discussed the protests in Minnesota to evaluate whether it violated our policies. Although the post had a troubling historical reference, we decided to leave it up because the National Guard references meant we read it as a warning about state action, and we think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force.”
Several left-wingers within the company did not take kindly to their boss’ stance, Breitibart reported. Among them were director of product management Jason Toff, product R&D worker Jason Stirman, product designer Nate Butler, and director of product design on news feed Ryan Freitas:
I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.— Jason Toff (@jasontoff) June 1, 2020
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
I've shared others posts, but I need to be clear–FB is on the wrong side of this and I can't support their stance. Doing nothing isn't Being Bold. Many of us feel this way.— Nate Butler �� (@iamnbutler) June 1, 2020
Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind.— Ryan Freitas (@ryanchris) June 1, 2020
Additionally, The New York Times reported that on Monday several hundred Facebook employees staged a “virtual walkout,” refusing to work in protest of Zuckerberg’s stance. “The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the US President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression,” an unnamed Facebook employee wrote in an internal message that went on to falsely accuse Trump of “advocating violence, murder and imminent threat against Black people.”
Facebook insiders’ visceral reaction to Zuckerberg only reinforces conservatives’ certainty of the company’s left-wing bias. Multiple analyses have found that algorithm changes instituted at the beginning of 2018 disproportionately impacted conservative politicians and websites. Last year, an insider revealed that Facebook “deboosts” traffic to several mainstream conservative sites.
Most recently, Facebook has made itself an arbiter of “misinformation” and “harmful” speech related to the COVID-19 outbreak, with critics objecting that Facebook has crossed the line from merely quashing objectively false claims to censoring legitimate protest organizing and factual information that conflicts with the interests of the World Health Organization, which has been accused of covering for the Chinese government’s complicity in letting COVID-19 spread across the world.
Last Thursday, the Trump signed an executive order aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which immunizes websites from potentially being held liable for the third-party content they host.
The move follows Twitter placing a “fact-check” on a tweet by President Trump pertaining to the fraud potential of mail-in voting. On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order aimed at tweaking how federal agencies interpret and enforce Section 230. The order essentially directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose an administrative rule that would “spell out what it means for the tech giants to carry out their takedown policies ‘in good faith,’” national security attorney Stewart Baker explained.