A number of Facebook employees on Monday planned a virtual walkout after executives said they would not take action concerning future posts from President Donald Trump even after some were labeled as misleading and dangerous by Twitter.
Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has held firm through the years that he believes his company’s platform should be hands-off when it comes to political posts. He seemingly has not budged.
“Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric,” Zuckerberg wrote Friday on his Facebook page. “But I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression.”
The Facebook pushback comes after Twitter last month began to fact-check some tweets from Trump and flagged another for dangerous rhetoric. That move enraged the president, who blasted the company and accused them of censoring conservative views.
A number of Facebook employees used Twitter to note that they would log off the system, some to support protests, but all in frustration over the inaction regarding Trump posts. According to a New York Times report, that number is in the dozens, some even using their out-of-office replies as a statement of the disappointment over the company’s position. Some staff has also circulated petitions and threatened to resign overt the inaction, the Times reports.
A Facebook spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter Monday afternoon that top brass welcomed feedback from employees. “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.”
The company supported those who chose to walk out. They would not be expected to use any paid time off for participation.