Facebook’s political speech headache has turned into a full-blown migraine

Inside Facebook, criticism of Zuckerberg is heating up.

June 3, 2020

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Turns out, there’s no statement more evergreen than this: Zuck had a bad day yesterday.

Facebook’s head honcho has been dodging internal criticism since he decided not to add a warning to a post by the president that said, in part, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter said the post glorifies violence.

On Tuesday, Zuck held a company town hall to explain his decision not to take action. Basically, Zuck said Facebook’s policies mandated it. It was a “tough decision,” he told staff, but he was “pretty thorough” in his process.

At one point, ~22k employees tuned in — almost half of the company’s 48k workers. The most up-voted employee question, according to CNN, asked that the company change its policies on political speech — but Zuck wouldn’t budge. 

Facebook’s long, long 24 hours

A lot has happened since Monday, when hundreds of employees staged a virtual walkout: 

  • Zuck’s Monday-night conversation with civil rights leaders got universal 1-star reviews: Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said that the CEO “lives in a bubble” and doesn’t understand America’s history of racism.
  • A software engineer whose job involved cracking down on misinformation very publicly resigned, writing that the tech giant is “on the wrong side of history.”
  • A nonprofit group called Accountable Tech is hitting Zuck on his home turf: The org took out ads targeting Facebook workers that use the tech kingpin’s own words against him. One example: “We do have to take action if people are doing things that are going to promote violence.”

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime


How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.