CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized a staffer recently on Facebook’s internal message board after the employee condemned “critical race theory” and expressed support for both the police and the black lives matter movement, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday.
A Facebook staffer shared a post on the company’s internal Workplace channel in late August titled “In Support of Law Enforcement and Black Lives,” which argued racism does not play a serious role in police shootings. The employee also suggested arguments promoting narratives about police violence often leave out other mitigating factors, The Daily Beast reported, citing Facebook sources.
“My heart goes out to the Blake family,” the staffer reportedly wrote in the Aug. 28 post. “It also goes out to the well-intentioned law enforcement officers who have been victimized by society’s conformity to a lie.” The staffer added: “What if racial, economic, crime, and incarceration gaps cannot close without addressing personal responsibility and adherence to the law?”
Zuckerberg entered the conversation Monday after the post stoked anger among employees, according to the report.
“We designed our respectful communications policy to allow people to discuss very different viewpoints,” he said in a Workplace post Monday. “But I’m concerned that some people are doing that without appreciating the impact their words are having on our Black community.”
The employee published the post after police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, shot Jacob Blake in the back, rendering the 29-year-old black man paralyzed, media reports show. Demonstrations turned into riots throughout the summer after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in May after a police officer knelt down on his neck for several minutes, per video of the incident.
Zuckerberg noted in the Monday post that Facebook is creating internal forums on the internal message board with “clear rules and strong moderation” discouraging employees from widely sharing views that other staff consider offensive, particularly on issues considered controversial, The Daily Beast reported.
“You won’t be able to discuss highly charged content broadly in open groups,” he said. “As you know, we deeply value expression and open discussion, but I don’t believe people working here should have to be confronted with divisive conversations while they’re trying to work.”
Some employees were not satisfied with Zuckerberg and Facebook’s decision to cordon off messages deemed offensive to other staffers.
“I really hope the takeaway from last week’s mess isn’t ‘it’s okay to say things that make Black employees feel like they don’t belong here, as long as you do it in the right Workplace groups,’” a Facebook staffer said in a comment on Zuckerberg’s post, according to The Daily Beast.
“Systemic racism exists everywhere in our society, and we can’t expect that it doesn’t exist at Facebook either,” the staffer wrote.
Facebook has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment about the initial post and Zuckerberg’s rebuttal.
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