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Facebook employees stage virtual walkout to protest against Zuckerberg’s inaction on Trump’s posts

Employees took a day off work to stage a virtual walkout against Facebook not taking any action against US Prez Donald Trump's controversial posts about the protests that broke out across the country following George Floyd's murder 

Besides speaking out, many Facebook employees have also changed their profile pictures to a ‘modified version’ of the Facebook icon, the thumbs-up, that shows a fist of solidarity.
Besides speaking out, many Facebook employees have also changed their profile pictures to a ‘modified version’ of the Facebook icon, the thumbs-up, that shows a fist of solidarity. (REUTERS)

Some Facebook employees have staged a virtual walkout to protest against CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inaction against posts made by Donald Trump last week. While Twitter had chosen to flag Trump’s tweets, the same ones where cross posted on Facebook and the platform took the call to let them run. Zuckerberg said that he wanted Facebook users to see the posts for themselves.

Leaked documents have revealed that employees were not pleased with Facebook’s stance in the matter and had asked senior management to pull off those posts. However, they received no response to their questions.

Employees took a day off work to stage their ‘walkout’. Managers have been told by the company’s HR department to not “retaliate against staff who are planning to protest, or to make them use paid time-off”, according to reports. New York Times was the first to report about these protests and the news was picked up by other platforms after that.

Alongside this walkout there has also been a wave of dissent against Facebook marked by tweets from employees.

While some employees expressed their anger, some others chose a stronger stance.

"We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community. We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

Zuckerberg initially said in a lengthy post a few days ago that he has been “struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets… I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric”.

This was followed by another post posted yesterday to announce that Facebook was “committing an additional $10 million to groups working on racial justice”.

Reports have it that Trump had called Zuckerberg after Twitter flagged his posts.

Facebook has about 48,000 employees and only a few are currently speaking up right now but this is indicative of the fact that Facebook has a bigger decision to make. With most social media platforms rallying against racism at this point, Facebook doing nothing could “alienate” some of its “top talent”.

Protests against George Floyd’s death has been spreading across the US and more and more Facebook and Instagram employees have been staging walkouts.

Instagram’s Katie Zhu tweeted that she was taking Monday off and was deeply disappointed in how her company was ‘showing up’.

Besides speaking out, many Facebook employees have also changed their profile pictures to a ‘modified version’ of the Facebook icon, the thumbs-up, that shows a fist of solidarity.