Some Facebook employees on Monday staged a ‘virtual walkout’ to protest CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to take action on a series of controversial posts from Donald Trump. As part of the walkout, the aggrieved employees, who are already working from home because of the pandemic, took the day off work. In response to the walkout, Zuckerberg moved his weekly meeting with employees to Thursday.
The developments come after Zuckerberg decided not to remove any of President Trump’s inflammatory messages from Facebook. While Twitter has started fact-checking and labeling Trump’s tweets whenever they seem to breach the platform’s policies, Zuckerberg has rejected proposals to do something similar on Facebook, saying that such a move would violate free speech on the platform.
According to The New York Times, many employees were already upset with what they see as a divisive rhetoric from the President. However, the final straw was an egregiously inflammatory tweet that threatened to use deadly force against protesters. Two senior Facebook employees told NYT that they have already informed their seniors that they would resign if Zuckerberg did not reverse his decision of not removing such posts from Facebook.
The report further claims that while some employees have circulated petitions because of Zuckerberg’s lack of action, numerous others have vented their frustration on social media and online message boards. “The hateful rhetoric advocating violence against black demonstrators by the US President does not warrant defense under the guise of freedom of expression”, one employee wrote on an internal message board, says the report.