Speed Reads

walkout

Dozens of Facebook employees stage virtual 'walkout' over Zuckerberg's handling of Trump posts

Facebook employees have publicly rebuked CEO Mark Zuckerberg for leaving up recent posts by President Trump that Twitter took action against, and they've now staged a walkout.

Numerous employees in recent days have voiced disagreement with Zuckerberg after he decided to allow Trump's post saying "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" in reference to the Minneapolis protests. Twitter, in contrast, said this post violated its rules against glorifying violence, and they hid it behind a warning. Twitter also fact-checked posts from Trump about mail-in ballots, but Facebook didn't do so, with Zuckerberg saying Facebook "shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online."

On Monday, dozens of Facebook employees participated in a virtual "walkout" in response to this recent inaction by "logging into Facebook's systems and requesting time off to support protesters across the country" and adding "an automated message to their emails saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest," The New York Times reports. The walkout took place online since employees are working at home during the pandemic.

A Facebook spokesperson told the Times that "we recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community," and "we encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership."

This was the first time in the history of Facebook that employees have staged a walkout of this kind, according to the Times' Sheera Frenkel, and Axios' Dan Primack observed that "from a company culture perspective," it's "hard to overstate the significance of a Facebook employee walkout."

In fact, the Times reports that two senior Facebook employees threatened to resign if Zuckerberg didn't reverse his decision on Trump's post, and the report cites more than a dozen sources in characterizing this is the "most serious challenge to Mr. Zuckerberg's leadership since the company was founded 15 years ago."