Facebook Resignations Add Pressure on Trump Posts

As Zuckerberg refuses to bend, employee anger builds
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2020 5:05 PM CDT
Inside Facebook, Some Suspect Trump Is Testing Them
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks in Germany in February.   (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Mark Zuckerberg's defense of allowing President Trump's post about shooting looters, and the CEO's refusal to budge during an employee town hall Monday, have only increased the anger inside Facebook. There have been a handful of resignations this week, with one departing employee, Recode reports, posting on an internal site, "I'm deeply ashamed of working in a company that gives free rein to a racist post because it is by a politician." The Washington Post saw internal documents that showed the question employees most wanted asked of Zuckerberg at the meeting was: "Can we please change our policies around political free speech? Fact checking and removal of hate speech shouldn't be exempt for politicians."

The documents show many employees think Trump is testing them and other social media companies ahead of the election. Some of the employees suggested internally that Facebook and Trump are involved in "an abusive relationship." Timothy Aveni, a software engineer who resigned this week, posted on an internal board, "What’s the point of establishing a principle if we’re going to move the goal posts every time Trump escalates his behavior?" That principle has always been clear, Aveni told CNN. "Zuck has told us over and over that calls to violence would not be tolerated on the platform," he said, "even if they were by the president of the United States." Zuckerberg reiterated that policy to Congress last year. "We will take that content down," he testified. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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