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'Virtual Walkout': Facebook Employees Protest Zuckerberg's Response to Trump's Posts

Facebook employees made it clear on Monday that they want the social media giant to censor President Donald Trump.
Hundreds of employees staged a “virtual walkout” in protest of how CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to handle statements from the president, according to The New York Times.
The demonstration came in the wake of Zuckerberg’s interview with Fox News last week regarding social media censorship.

“We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this,” he told Fox News’ Dana Perino in the interview, which aired Thursday.
“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.”
In addition to hoping to pressure Facebook executives into taking a tougher stance against Trump’s posts, the employees also have refused to work in order to show support for people across the country who are protesting over the May 25 death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.
The group would like to see Facebook censor or add warning labels to the president’s posts, the same way that Twitter did to a May 28 tweet.
In the tweet, Trump referred to rioters in Minneapolis as “THUGS” and warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right.....
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
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Twitter marked the tweets with a warning that 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.”
After commenters said the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” has racially charged origins and was used by segregationists in the ’60s, the president clarified his statement.
“It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement,” Trump said in a tweet Friday. “It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”
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....
....It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!
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Regardless, the Twitter warnings remain on the tweet.
The president posted the same message on Facebook, where it has received no such censoring.

According to audio from a Tuesday Q&A video call meeting with thousands of employees that was leaked to Vox Media’s Recode, Zuckerberg explained why he refused to take the post down.
“I knew that the stakes were very high on this, and knew a lot of people would be upset if we made the decision to leave it up,” he said.
“We basically concluded after the research and after everything I’ve read and all the different folks that I’ve talked to that the reference is clearly to aggressive policing — maybe excessive policing — but it has no history of being read as a dog whistle for vigilante supporters to take justice into their own hands.”
Following Twitter’s censorship of the president’s tweets and a history of bias against conservatives by Big Tech and social media platforms, Trump signed an executive order on Thursday directing federal regulators to crack down on such bias and, in some cases, remove the legal protections shielding tech companies from liability for what’s posted on their platforms.
“In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet,” the executive order says. “This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic.
“When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.”
President @realDonaldTrump just took executive action to fight online censorship by tech corporations, including social media platforms.
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“The choices that Twitter makes when it chooses to suppress, edit, blacklist, shadow-ban are editorial decisions, pure and simple,” Trump said at the signing.

“In those moments, Twitter ceases to be a neutral public platform and they become an editor with a viewpoint, and I think we can say that about others also, whether you’re looking at Google, whether you’re looking at Facebook and perhaps others,” he said.

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