Amid mounting pressure, resignations, Zuckerberg refuses to budge on Trump tweets

Facebook employees have been demanding that CEO Mark Zuckerberg should censor US President Donald Trump controversial posts on current protests triggered by George Floyd’s death, which included one that said “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” But Zuckerberg isn’t budging over his refusal to remove posts. Some employees had publicly quit over the issue and civil rights leaders who met with him Monday night denounced Zuckerberg’s explanation for choosing to leave Trump’s posts alone as “incomprehensible.”

I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, 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.

Mark Zuckerberg

On June 2, dozens of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout over the issue. Later, Zuckerberg met with employees for a Q&A session held via online video. Zuckerberg reportedly reiterated his stance on Trump posts.  Twitter had decided to side with Leftists and flagged and demoted a Trump tweet in which he referenced protests over police violence in Minneapolis using the phrase “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”

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Facebook let an identical message stand on its service. Zuckerberg explained his reasoning in a Facebook post Friday, a position he has since reiterated several times. “I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, 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,” Zuckerberg stated.

Earlier, Facebook employee Owen Anderson tweeted on Tuesday: “I am proud to announce that as of the end of today, I am no longer a Facebook employee. To be clear, this was in the works for a while. But after last week, I am happy to no longer support policies and values I vehemently disagree with.”

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Another employee, Timothy J. Aveni wrote on Facebook page: “Today, I submitted my resignation to Facebook. I cannot stand by Facebook’s continued refusal to act on the president’s bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public. I’m scared for my country, and I’m watching my company do nothing to challenge the increasingly dangerous status quo.”

Meanwhile, Facebook, in a statement, said: “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.”


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