As protests rage across the U.S., some Facebook workers are speaking out against their own employer.
On Sunday, Jason Toff, a director of product management at Facebook, voiced his disapproval of how Facebook handled recent posts by President Donald Trump.
I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.
— Jason Toff (@jasontoff) June 1, 2020
Toff is referring to Facebook’s decision not to take action against some of Trump’s recent posts. Meanwhile, Twitter flagged a tweet from Trump for spreading misinformation about mail-in voting. It hid another, which said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” from Trump’s timeline because it violated its rules on glorifying violence.
While Twitter hid the tweet from immediate view, the post was fully visible on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram. In an interview on Fox News, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said he would not hide the post as “Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth” online.
Toff is not the only Facebook employee who doesn’t agree with Zuckerberg. Following his tweet, several other Facebook employees, including Software Engineer Lauren Tan, Head of Design for Portal Andrew Crow, and product R&D team lead Jason Stirman, voiced their disapproval, too.
Facebook’s inaction in taking down Trump’s post inciting violence makes me ashamed to work here. I absolutely disagree with it. I enjoy the technical parts of my job and working alongside smart/kind people, but this isn’t right. Silence is complicity.
— Lauren Tan ✨😷✨ (@sugarpirate_) May 29, 2020
I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism.
— Stirman (@stirman) May 30, 2020
Censoring information that might help people see the complete picture *is* wrong. 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.
— Andrew (@AndrewCrow) June 1, 2020
Zuckerberg called Trump on Friday and expressed his concerns about the president’s “tone and rhetoric,” according to Axios. He reportedly told the president his words “put Facebook in a difficult position.”
The feedback from some of Facebook’s employees — who, tellingly, decided to voice their opinion on Twitter — indicates that phone chats with the president might not be enough for them.
Zuckerberg also posted on Sunday that Facebook has committed $10 million to groups working on racial justice. “It’s clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don’t amplify bias,” he wrote.