Hundreds of Facebook employees walk out as Zuckerberg plans town hall

CEO Mark Zuckerberg

  • Facebook employees on Monday staged a “virtual walkout” in protest of the company’s policies regarding recent posts by President Donald Trump.
  • These employees expressed disappointment and shame in the decision by Facebook’s leaders to leave up a Thursday post from Trump in which the president said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Hundreds of Facebook employees on Monday staged a “virtual walkout” in protest of the company’s policies regarding recent posts by President Donald Trump.

Employees took to Twitter to publicly announce their participation in the protest, referring to the virtual walkout with #TakeAction. These employees expressed disappointment and shame in the decision by Facebook’s leaders to leave up a Thursday post from Trump in which the president said that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

As many as 600 employees partook in the virtual protest, estimated one employee who spoke with CNBC. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to hold a town hall with employees on Tuesday to address the situation, the employee said. This person asked not to be named discussing internal matters with press

The employees said that they believed this type of post violates Facebook’s platform standards. The company’s policies state that Facebook will “remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence.” Asked if Facebook’s leadership will have a meeting to reconsider its decision per the request of the employees partaking in the virtual walkout, a Facebook spokesman told CNBC that the company has “No comment on this.

Trump posted his controversial statement on both Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter placed a label warning users about the president’s violent rhetoric, which they have to dismiss before they can view his tweet. Twitter is also preventing users from liking or retweeting the tweet.

At least one Facebook employee tweeted that he left the company as a result of its policies.

The walkout comes after a number of Facebook employees publicly criticized the company for its decision not to moderate Trump’s posts.

“We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” a Facebook spokesman told CNBC in a statement Monday. “We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we’ll continue seeking their honest feedback.

Two senior Facebook employees have informed their managers that they plan to resign if Zuckerberg does not reverse his decision to not moderate Trump’s posts, The New York Times reported Monday.

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