Facebook says it wants staff to ‘speak openly’ as employees criticise Mark Zuckerberg’s response to Trump posts

Facebook has responded after its own employees publicly criticised its response to Donald Trump‘s controversial posts.

Staff should “speak openly”, it said, but it did not indicate that its the policies around the content of posts that have caused unrest among employees would change.

The company earlier opted to take no action against Facebook posts in which the president appeared to threaten protesters with being shot.

Twitter, in contrast, hid the posts behind a warning stating that they “glorified violence” and stopped people from being able to easily share or engage with the posts. That decision brought criticism from Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, who said the company did not want to be an “arbiter of truth” and would not pursue a similar response.

Facebook’s inaction led to public criticism from high-ranking employees, who argued Facebook should be doing more to stop the spread of such rhetoric.

“We recognise the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.”

Facebook gave no indication that the posts from the president would be removed, or that the policies around his posts would change.

In a vast number of public posts on Twitter, staff had criticised Mr Zuckerberg’s response and indicated they would be agitating within the company to make it change its policy.

For instance, Andrew Chow, head of design for Facebook’s Portal video chat hardware, suggested Facebook was “giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation” by leaving the posts online.

“Censoring information that might help people see the complete picture *is* wrong,” he tweeted. “But giving a platform to incite violence and spread disinformation is unacceptable, regardless who you are or if it’s newsworthy. I disagree with Mark’s position and will work to make change happen.”

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