Photograph: Zach Lucero, The Frontier


Lead Editor

Facebook Employees Disappointed By Mark Zuckerburg’s Submissiveness To Donald Trump

02 June 2020

Facebook employees have turned on Mark Zuckerburg following his refusal to take action against US President Donald Trump’s most recent social media posts which openly incited the use of violence.

Over the past 6 to 7 days, Americans have united to protest against the country’s treatment of people of colour, especially by law enforcement. The nationwide protests follow the recent murder of George Floyd, an African-American citizen, who was killed by four police officers in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Floyd, 46, was strangled to death by Derrick Chauvin, an officer who knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes, whilst he screamed, “I can’t breathe!” to little to no avail. Ignored by all four officers, Floyd eventually lost consciousness, and shortly after, he lost his life.

Following Floyd’s death, the US has been in a state of unrest, with multiple states protesting the unjust treatment of the African-American leading to his death. Protests in cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Bakersfield, Dallas, Denver, and Chicago have all become violent, with the protesters destroying property, “looting,” and clashing with law enforcement. 

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter and other social media platforms to address the ongoing protests on May 26 stating, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Twitter flagged President Trump’s message due to its inciting of violence, which is against the platform’s rules concerning the glorification of such acts.

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Facebook, however, refused to take any action against the post on its platform, leaving the company’s employees dissatisfied with the employer’s decision to ignore the event entirely. The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg recently agreed with the notion that “Facebook needs to do more to support equality and safety for the Black community.” However, prior to his most recent statement, on Friday Zuckerburg claimed, “I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets and posts all day. Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric…”

“But I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression,” he added.

Facebook employees have since expressed their disappointment with the company and “how the company is showing up.” One of the company’s Directors, Jason Toff, took to Twitter sharing, “I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of co-workers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.” A number of Facebook employees have already left to join the ongoing protests in their respective states. 

Since George Floyd’s death, the main officer responsible for him losing his life, Derrick Chauvin, has been taken into custody. The remaining three officers that were on the scene, namely Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng, and Tou Thoa have not faced any charges for their part in the murder of George Floyd, although they did lose their jobs as police officers.


Bongu Simelane

Bongu Simelane is The Merkel’s Lead Editor. You can follow and connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, as well as Instagram