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At an all-hands meeting via video chat on June 2, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) was subjected to some tough questions from his employees who voiced their concern over Donald Trump's threatening post still being visible on the social media site.
Over the meeting which spanned over ninety minutes, employees expressed anguish and dismay at the company's stance of not flagging inciting posts as was done by Twitter the past week. While Twitter earned accolades for its bold stance of putting fact-checking labels on US President Trump's tweet, Facebook was critiqued for allowing the spread of false propaganda.
As protests against the brutal killing of an African-American man George Floyd by Minneapolis police gained momentum across the United States, the President by way of curbing the uprisings and instill fear in their minds, put out an outrageous post on Twitter on May 29.
Looting leads to shooting, and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don't want this to happen, and that's what the expression put out last night means....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
While Twitter last week put out a "public interest notice" on the tweet for violating the platform's policies about glorifying violence, Facebook refused to take action when the tweet was cross-posted to its platform.
Defending the decision to not take action on the controversial posts, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on May 29 said, "Our policy around incitement of violence allows discussion around state use of force, although I think today's situation raises important questions about what potential limits of that discussion should be."
When held accountable by people for encouraging provocative posts, Zuckerburg retaliated by way of saying that unlike Twitter their policy doesn't facilitate the flagging of posts, if anything is inflammatory in nature, it is simply removed from the platform, no matter whose post it is.
In the meeting yesterday as well, the CEO was adamant about not taking down the post as it did not violate the company's policies against violent rhetoric. Although, he did mention that Facebook is exploring whether the company should change the policy or come up with other ways to flag violating posts besides taking them down entirely.
A number of Facebook employees, including some senior figures, criticized the company's approach, challenging Zuckerberg's decision to leave the post up, and on June 1 some workers participated in a virtual walkout in protest.
As per a report by NDTV, one employee, software engineer Timothy Aveni, announced his resignation on June 1, citing Facebook's failure to step in on content such as Trump's. "Mark always told us that he would draw the line at a speech that calls for violence. He showed us on Friday that this was a lie," Aveni posted on Facebook. "Facebook, complicit in the propagation of weaponized hatred, is on the wrong side of history," he said.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump had issued an executive order against Twitter, for putting a fact check label on his tweet which spoke about the mail-in ballot system for the upcoming presidential election.
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