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Facebook Employees' Virtual Walkout Over Zuckerberg's Position On Trump's Posts

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Hundreds of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" on Monday to protest the company's decision not to act on recent controversial posts by President Donald Trump on the social media platform.

The employees criticized Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's decision to not moderate a post from Trump last Thursday, in which the president said that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Trump's controversial comments were posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

As most Facebook employees are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, they refused to work on Monday to show their support for protesters across the country and conducted a virtual walkout.

Trump had vowed military support for the governor of Minnesota after a night of violent protest in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in police custody.

Floyd died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Floyd's death has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the U.S. Several cities, including New York City, are under curfew.

Facebook employees, critical of their own company, praised Twitter for its response to the same message from Trump.

Twitter had flagged and hidden Trump's tweet from his profile, saying his remarks referring to protests over the death of Floyd violated rules about glorifying violence.

Twitter also added a warning label and prevented users from liking or retweeting Trump's tweet. Rather than deleting the post, the social media giant allowed the public to still view the tweet.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Zuckerberg said that while he found the remarks deeply offensive, they did not violate the company's rules.

In response, several of Facebook's employees publicly expressed their unhappiness with Zuckerberg's decision and announced on Twitter their participation in the virtual walkout.

Facebook has frequently come under heavy criticism for high-profile content moderation issues.

In early May, the company announced the first members of its new Oversight Board, which will make final decisions about what content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram, even if the company or Zuckerberg disagree.

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