Facebook employees on Monday held a “virtual walkout” in protest of how CEO Mark Zuckerberg has handled President Trump’s controversial posts on the platform, according to a report from The New York Times.
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Dozens of employees requested time off on Monday, the publication said, while putting up automated messages that stated they would be out of office in support of protestors.
As noted by the Times, many of Facebook’s employees are working from home due to coronavirus-related self-isolation guidance.
Frustrations appear to have emerged over how the social media site has decided to handle posts penned by the president.
Last week, Twitter placed a warning label on a tweet and restricted its ability to be freely viewed on the platform posted by the president regarding protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd. The tweet used the words “thugs” to describe protestors and it also used the controversial phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The phrase has origins in the Civil Rights era when it was used to justify police efforts to crack down black demonstrators.
The Twitter warnings reads: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."
Trump posted the same message on Facebook, where no action was taken by the site, to the dismay of some employees.
A spokesperson for Facebook did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment regarding Monday’s virtual walkout over its policies. However, the company has pledged $10 million toward efforts fighting racial injustices.
A split in how major technology companies planned to handle controversial rhetoric began to emerge last week, when Trump posted messages about mail-in voter fraud on both Facebook and Twitter. His Twitter post was marked by a new fact-check feature, which provides links for people to read more information about a topic or claim. The post was again left untouched on Facebook.
"I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online," Zuckerberg said. "Private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."
Last week, the president signed an executive order giving the government broader authority to crackdown on social media companies, while accusing them of having “unchecked power” and acting as editors and publishers of the content on their websites. He said the order would remove their “liability shield” if they engage in censorship.
“They’re doing things incorrectly, they have points of view,” Trump said at the White House. “My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it that social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield. That’s a big deal.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 protects companies like YouTube and Twitter from most content posted on their sites by third-party users even though the companies themselves generally oversee that content.