“Facebook workers stage ‘virtual walkout’ to protest policy on Trump posts”
June 1, 2020 | 8:05pm
Working from home didn’t stop dozens of Facebook employees from conducting a virtual walkout in protest of Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebookers went on rival social network Twitter to announce that they were protesting the company’s policy of leaving Trump’s posts alone, arguing that they violate Facebook’s rule against “language that incites or facilitates serious violence.”
The workers “walked out” by requesting paid time off in Facebook’s systems and changing their out-of-office email response to say they were unavailable, according to reports.
The protest came after dozens of Facebook employees over the weekend blasted their employer on Twitter, with many specifically singling out founder and CEO Zuckerberg.
“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way,” Ryan Frietas, director of product design for Facebook’s News Feed, wrote on Twitter about Zuckerberg’s decision to leave Trump’s posts up untouched.
Twitter on Friday hid a tweet from Trump that included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” behind a warning label. It explained the tweet violated Twitter’s rules against “glorifying violence” but was being left up as a “public service exception.”
Facebook declined to take action on the same message, with Zuckerberg saying in a Facebook post on Friday that while he found the remarks “deeply offensive,” the company decided they did not violate its policy against “incitements to violence.”
“Respect to @Twitter’s integrity team for making the enforcement call,” David Gillis, a Facebook director of product design, wrote. Despite saying that he understood Zuckerberg’s thinking in Facebook holding firm, he added that “It would have been right for us to make a ‘spirit of the policy’ exception that took more context into account.
Jason Toff, identified as a Facebook director of product management, tweeted that he was “not proud” of how his company was dealing with the matter, while another Facebook manager, Andrew Crow, said that he disagrees “with Mark’s position and will work to make change happen.”
Facebook officials on Monday said they are listening to the criticisms. “We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our black community,” the company said in a statement to The Post. “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.”
Despite the uproar, investors sent Facebook’s shares up 3 percent, or more than $6 a share, to $231.91.
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