Facebook engineers resign due to Zuckerberg’s political stance

A group of Facebook employees recently resigned. The group claims that they do not agree with Mark Zuckerberg’s political stance.

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is facing criticisms from his workforce. Some engineers are condemning the executive for his refusal to act on issues about politics and police brutality.

Millions of Americans are protesting over the death of African-American George Floyd. The social media giant is one of the many platforms that protesters use to voice their dissent. It is also the same platform that many use to spread hate and violence.

In a blog post, the engineers claim that Facebook has become a “platform that enables politicians to radicalize individuals and glorify violence.”

Lack of response to violence and hate

Facebook employees, politicians, and civil rights groups are condemning the company over its lack of response to the current turmoil. Recently, United States President Donald Trump made inflammatory remarks about the protesters. Despite calls from many sides, Facebook did not take any action to filter these remarks on its platform.

Several employees, many of whom are working at home due to the pandemic, are criticizing the company. While some claim that the First Amendment protects these hate posts, many are arguing that it has gone too much.

Some are calling Zuckerberg to make the necessary actions to filter and remove these hate messages on its platform. He believes that his company, or any private company for that matter, should not restrict political speech.

These criticisms are coming from some of Facebook’s early and tenured employees. Among those that vent their criticism are Dave Willner and Brandee Barker. They claim that the company’s policy may result in a double standard when it comes to political speech.

How the tech industry responds

Recently, Twitter added a “fact check” button on a couple of President Trump’s tweets. This caught the ire of the President and praise from civil rights defender. As a result, the President issue an executive order in an attempt to remove legal provisions that protect online platforms.

In terms of political speech, Twitter’s action set the standard for tech companies to follow. Human rights activists and free speech defenders rally into Twitter’s side, one major platform did not: and that’s Facebook. As the biggest social media platform in the world, the company has the power to influence almost any political debate.

Facebook and Zuckerberg remain steadfast in their belief. On the other hand, protesting employees are staging virtual walkouts to voice their opposition over these issues.

Image courtesy of Yang Jing/Unsplash

 

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