Facebook employees stage ‘virtual walkout’ over Trump post moderation

Facebook employees stage ‘virtual walkout’ over Trump post moderation


Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, arrives to testify during the House Financial Services hearing on An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Facebook employees on Monday staged a “virtual walkout” in protest of the company’s policies regarding recent posts by President Donald Trump. 

Several employees took to Twitter to publicly announce their participation in the protest, referring to the virtual walkout with #TakeAction. These employees expressed disappointment and shame in the decision by Facebook’s leaders to leave up a Thursday post from Trump in which the president said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The employees said that they believed this type of post violates Facebook’s platform standards. The company’s policies state that Facebook will “remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence.”

Trump posted his controversial statement on both Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter placed a label warning users about the president’s violent rhetoric, which they have to dismiss before they can view his tweet. Twitter is also preventing users from liking or retweeting the tweet.

The walkout comes after a number of Facebook employees publicly criticized the company for its decision not to moderate Trump’s posts. 

“We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” a Facebook spokesman told CNBC in a statement Monday. “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.”

Two senior Facebook employees have informed their managers that they plan to resign if CEO Mark Zuckerberg does not reverse his decision to not moderate Trump’s posts, The New York Times reported Monday. 


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