Faced with the bronca of some of his employees, Mark Zuckerberg continues to defend his decision not to moderate polemical messages from Donald Trump last week on his Facebook platform.
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Unlike Twitter, the thumbs up platform has decided not to report a message from the President (“The lootings will be immediately greeted by bullets”) about the demonstrations denouncing the death of George Floyd, which were enamelled riots.
The death of this African American, asphyxiated by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has sparked outrage in the United States.
Several employees expressed their dissatisfaction with their boss this weekend and participated in an online strike on Monday. They believe that even if Facebook has decided not to exercise the slightest censorship over the comments made by politicians, those of the tenant of the White House exceed in this case the limits – those of incitement to violence.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the platform, answered their questions at a weekly videoconference meeting on Tuesday, without changing his mind.
According to New york times, he told them that he called Donald Trump after his decision, and told him that he found the rhetoric of his Friday publication “dangerous and inflammatory.”
But he argued that the messages should not be deleted for the sake of freedom of expression and the public’s interest in learning.
The decision, which some employees disagreed with, was “difficult” when it came to a message whose content personally shocked him, Zuckerberg told the 25,000 or so employees who had logged in, according to the Recode site which obtained a recording of the call.
“I knew the stakes were very high, and that many people would be upset if we decided not to do so,” said the platform’s CEO, quoted by Recode.
But, according to Bloomberg, he also said during this tense exchange that Facebook was examining the possibility of modifying its moderation policy on such content, and of reporting it rather than deleting it altogether.
A Facebook spokesperson told the New york times that Zuckerberg was “thankful” to the employees for initiating the debate.
Some of them chose to smash the Menlo Park group, making their grievances public. “I’m quitting Facebook,” said Timothy Aveni, an engineer, in his profile on Tuesday. “I can’t keep making excuses” to the social network, he said.
Vanita Gupta, Sherrilyn Ifill and Rashad Robinson, also head of three major civil rights organizations in the United States, also expressed their misunderstanding, after having discussed with Number 2 of Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg on Monday evening. Facebook.
“We are disappointed and stunned by Mark’s incomprehensible explanations for the decision to maintain Trump’s publications,” they said.
They regretted the lack of reaction to other messages sanctioned by Twitter, but not by Facebook, like those posted a week ago on postal voting.
Twitter had flagged them as misleading, and added “verify the facts”, while Mark Zuckerberg reminded Fox News that platforms should not play the role of “arbiters of truth online”.
“Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent that could prompt others to say harmful things on Facebook,” said the three officials.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Facebook CEO criticized, without naming them, the companies that expressed solidarity with the protesters and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think it’s important to say it (…), but I don’t think it takes special courage to say these things when there is a huge crisis. What I hope people will see are the actions that other leaders and I have taken “on this issue of discrimination, he said, according to a participant in the discussion on Tuesday.
“For once,” Don’t Do It “… Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America,” Nike tweeted Friday in a spot that hijacks its “Just Do It” slogan. It was retweeted by its competitor Adidas.