Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Facebook employees invent the concept of the "virtual walkout"

The idea of a virtual walkout is a strange one, although probably no stranger than many other things we have come to accept as normal during this pandemic. But that is effectively what several groups of Facebook employees have done in protest against Facebook's reaction (or lack thereof) to Donald Trump's incendiary postings regarding the ongoing race riots in America.
Dozens of Facebook employees, who are currently working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, have refused to work and have added an explanation on their digital profiles and email out-of-office messages, explaining that they are not working in solidarity with the police brutality and racism protests that are roiling American cities, and calling on Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg to take a stand and start blocking Trump's inflammatory postings, as Twitter has done earlier this week.
Zuckerberg has always maintained that it is not Facebook's place to vet or censor postings, and that the public should be allowed to decide what they want to believe. He says that Facebook is "committed to free expression", and is clearly in no mood to take on Trump (he is much too conscious of his company's bottom line and his retirement fund, for one thing). But this is being talked about as the most serious challenge to Zuckerberg's leadership since the company was founded 15 years ago.

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