A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg was presenting himself as a free speech ally, saying that he wouldn’t censor the president because that isn’t his job. Reasonable enough.
Then Facebook employees staged a walkout, demanding that he censor the president. Many believed he may have organized these walkouts himself.
Now he’s saying that maybe he will end up deciding what the president can write on the internet after all.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday promised to review the social network’s policies that led to its decision to not moderate controversial messages posted by President Donald Trump.
The announcement, which came in the form of a letter to employees, appeared aimed at quelling anger inside the company that was so severe it prompted 5,500 employees to complain and third to resign.
The outrage was sparked when Zuckerberg said Facebook would not remove or flag Trump’s recent posts that appeared to encourage violence against those protesting police racism.
Just to be absolutely clear here, the “protesters” were actually rioters burning a city and looting stores, who were already using violence. It is ridiculous to claim that saying you may have to respond with violence to other violence that is already taking place is a threat of violence.
But whatever. You already know the whole Orange Man Bad media thing.
In the post, Trump referred to protesters as thugs and used a racist quote that was criticized for violence.
‘….There THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him the Military is with him all the way,’ wrote Trump.
‘Any difficulty and we will assume control, but when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!‘
Zuckerberg’s message Friday seemed to attempt to mollify that anger: ‘We’re going to review our policies allowing discussion and threats of state use of force to see if there are any amendments we should adopt,’ Zuckerberg wrote.
This, he said, includes ‘excessive use of police or state force. Given the sensitive history in the US, this deserves special consideration.’
Social media platforms have faced mounting calls to moderate the president’s comments, most recently because of the unrest gripping the United States in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed while apprehended by police.
‘The decision I made last week has left many of you angry, disappointed and hurt,’ Zuckerberg said in the letter, which he posted on his Facebook page.
Imagine openly stating that maybe you’ll start deciding what the president can say as people cheer for you.
I just shared the following note with our employees, and I want to share it with all of you as well. — As we…
If Trump can’t use Twitter or Facebook to talk about what the government may do, then what’s left? Television? Television will allow the president of the United States to speak?
Maybe he can just call us all individually at our houses?