Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Turmoil at Facebook over Trump tweet row




Turmoil at Facebook over Trump tweet row

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said private social media platforms "shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online". AFP

Turmoil at Facebook over Trump tweet row

The clash between Twitter and Donald Trump has thrust rival Facebook into turmoil, with employees rebelling against CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.

Some Facebook employees put out word of a “virtual walkout” to take place on Monday to protest, according to tweeted messages.

“As allies we must stand in the way of danger, not behind. I will be participating in today’s virtual walkout in solidarity with the black community,” tweeted Sara Zhang, one of the Facebook employees in the action.

Nearly all Facebook employees are working remotely due to the pandemic.

“We recognise the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” Facebook said in response to the AFP request for comment.

“We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership.”

Facebook was aware some workers planned the virtual walkout and did not plan to dock their pay.

“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” Ryan Freitas, the design director of Facebook’s News Feed, tweeted on Sunday, adding that he was organising about 50 other employees who share his view.

At the root of the discord is Twitter’s unprecedented intervention last week when it tagged two Trump tweets about mail-in ballots with messages urging people to “get the facts”.

Zuckerberg reacted by telling Fox News that private social media platforms “shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online”. Trump retweeted the interview.

On Friday, Twitter responded once again to a Trump tweet, this time after he used the platform to warn protesters outraged by the death at police hands of an unarmed black man that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

Twitter covered up the tweet with a message warning it “violated Twitter Rules about glorifying violence”. Viewers had to click on the message to see the underlying tweet.

The message also was posted on Facebook, but Zuckerberg decided to let it stand unchallenged.

“I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets and posts all day,” he wrote on Friday in a post.

“Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.”

But, Zuckerberg went on to say that “our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there