Facebook employees participated in a virtual “walk out” in protest of leadership’s soft response to Donald Trump’s recent incendiary posts. Employees took to Twitter to announce their participation in the protest, using the tag #TakeAction as they informed followers that they were taking the day off to speak out. Some noted their belief that Trump’s posts condemning the protests against police brutality—which included the recycled, horrific phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”—is a clear threat of violence and warrants immediate removal as it is not only fucking heinous, but also a potential violation of their own company’s policies against such rhetoric.
Trump posted the statement across multiple social platforms. Twitter, which is currently warring with the president for daring to fact-check his tweets, responded by posting a violence warning over the message and preventing users from liking or retweeting it. (Though it should be noted that Twitter did not remove the tweet, which would have been exponentially helpful.) Facebook’s leadership refused to remove or condemn the post, resulting in backlash and criticism from their now-protesting employees.
Facebook released the following statement to CNBC:
“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. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.”
According to The New York Times, two senior employees have threatened to resign if CEO Mark Zuckerberg does not agree to moderate Trump’s often divisive messages. While the social media giant has repeatedly come under fire for its questionable handling of hate groups on the platform, there is a chance that the virtual protest could work. In March, publisher Hachette dropped Woody Allen’s memoir not long after it was announced when the staff walked out in protest.