Mark Zuckerberg wants to have it both ways.
The Facebook CEO has gone out of his way to publicly, and privately appease Donald Trump as the president spews violent rhetoric about peaceful protesters. And yet, as The Verge reported Monday, he also wants his employees to know that, personally, he’s not about that at all.
In a private all-hands meeting livestreamed Friday, Zuckerberg assured his employees that while, outwardly, he may continue to let Donald Trump use the platform he built to incite violence and spread hate, that doesn’t mean he’s, ya know, happy about it.
“My first reaction … was just disgust,” the Verge reports Zuckerberg as saying about Trump’s comment regarding shooting protesters. “This is not how I think we want our leaders to show up during this time. This is a moment that calls for unity and calmness and empathy for people who are struggling.”
And sure, nice words. They are, for example, words that would be nice coming from your elderly neighbor who recently had a change of heart after voting for Trump. They are not, however, strong words when spoken by one of the most powerful and influential people on the planet.
Because Zuckerberg actually has power. He has the power to do something.
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Despite protests from some of his own employees, in this defining moment Zuckerberg is enabling a would-be dictator while peaceful protesters are being tear gassed.
But don’t worry, Zuckerberg privately expressed disgust. Try to keep that in mind while your fellow Americans are dodging rubber bullets in the streets. Surely, it will provide all of us some much-needed comfort.