Damned if he does … Zuckerberg stuck between staff ire and free ...

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Damned if he does … Zuckerberg stuck between staff ire and free speech

ANALYSIS | Facebook chief’s predominantly left-leaning staff revolt over how it deals with Trump posts

James Cook

As violent protests spread across US cities following the death of George Floyd, some senior Facebook employees went on a rival social network, Twitter, to vent their frustration. The target of their anger? Their own company’s policies towards posts by US President Donald Trump.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg tried to defuse the situation by hinting at a change of tack. “Facebook needs to do more to support equality and safety for the black community,” he wrote. But Zuckerberg’s blog post, which included an announcement of a $10m (R172m) donation to racial justice organisations, failed to settle a bitter feud within the company over how it deals with Trump’s posts.

Last week, Twitter hid a message by Trump which it claimed had “glorified violence”. Its decision to hide the post, which included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, enraged many Republicans, including the president himself. But Facebook’s decision to adopt a different stance by keeping Trump’s post visible (it has since been shared more than 71,000 times) provoked an outcry...

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