On June 4, according to foreign media reports, on Tuesday morning local time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a video conference with employees to dispel employees’ concerns about the company’s decision. Facebook’s decision not to take action on some posts recently released by US President Trump has caused a lot of dissatisfaction among internal employees.
Hundreds of employees held a virtual strike on Monday, spreading this dissatisfaction to the public.
Information from Tuesday’s meeting shows Zuckerberg’s decision-making process, next action plan, and the continued dissatisfaction of some employees. Although Zuckerberg said more transparency should be provided to employees, he insisted that a so-called “fairly thorough” evaluation of Trump’s posts had been made, it is said that it is difficult to make the choice to avoid marking or deleting these posts, but it is correct.
According to the recording of the meeting, Zuckerberg admitted that Trump’s recent posts also upset him, especially one of which warned protesters that “when the shooting starts” (the shooting starts). But Zuckerberg said, “I know I need to abandon my personal point of view…… Judging from our policies and platform principles, we know that our decision will upset many people within the company and will also attract criticism from many media.”
the following are the key points of the meeting recording:
1. If the domestic riots in the United States escalate, Facebook may impose temporary restrictions on state actors in the United States. Zuckerberg said: “If the civil strife in the United States lasts for a long time, it may mean that we need to temporarily adopt a different policy from the previous situation.” He added: “We have some precedents to explain what this may look like.” Zuckerberg said the company had taken action to delete the wrong information about the new coronavirus because it represented a public health emergency, the excessive use of state power to maintain law and order in the United States can also be regarded as an emergency, which requires adjustments to corporate policies.
2. Zuckerberg admitted communicating with Trump about his post, but he said he decided not to leave the post behind before making the call. And this decision disappointed some employees.
3. Only one black employee, Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global diversity director, participated in the final decision on how to deal with Trump’s posts. Zuckerberg added that there were more black employees in the policy and integrity team, but employees asked why no more black employees joined the discussion.
4.Facebook listed seven plans to address employees’ concerns about the company’s decision. Zuckerberg said that Facebook will re-examine the relevant policies on the threat of use of force in the United States; Re-examine the relevant policies that may enable people to use the threat of infection with a new coronavirus to suppress voting; consider adding new tags to content that does not violate Facebook Community Standards but is objectionable in some respects; Better internal communication on how to make policy decisions; incorporate more different views into the company’s policy team; Encourage employees to put forward new initiatives to promote racial equality on Facebook; Develop a new product based on the model of the new coronavirus Information Center, to help people vote.
5. Zuckerberg believes that Facebook’s continued posting of Trump may damage the company’s public impression. He said frankly: “Taking the decision that we think is the right step may result in huge real costs.”
6. Zuckerberg encouraged employees to regard defending their voices as a noble cause. He pointed out that the original video of George Floyd’s murder by a police officer was uploaded to the Facebook platform and triggered a global protest. Facebook employees should be proud of this, saying: “I would urge people not to look at the moral impact of what we do only from the perspective of injury or mitigation of crimes. This is obviously a big part of the work that we have to do-and I’m not downplaying it. But it also has its good side, exposing painful things. I think this is also very important.”
7. Trump cannot cross a red line, which Facebook has already enforced. The frustration of many employees stems from the fact that Facebook did not delete one of Trump’s posts no matter what he did. Zuckerberg specifically pointed out that Facebook actually deleted Trump’s advertisements in March, which misled users into thinking that the campaign survey was actually the US Census. In other words, deleting an advertisement is usually much less controversial than deleting an ordinary post.
8. Zuckerberg worries that speaking in the United States will only become more and more difficult and will one day make people regret it. “In general, over time, we tend to add more policies to limit more and more things,” he said. “If every time something controversial comes up, your instinct is, OK, let’s limit it a lot, then you end up limiting a lot of things that are originally good for everyone.”
9. Company employees do not seem particularly moved by these answers. “Everyone is grateful that we had the opportunity to discuss these things directly with Zuckerberg,” one of them told me. But no one thinks Zuckerberg has given a real answer. Another user said Zuckerberg appeared “very cowardly” on the phone “. “I think he is afraid that his employees will betray him,” the employee said. “At least this is the conclusion I draw from facial expression and tone.”
at the same time, another employee said that Zuckerberg’s decision was supported by the majority of the company, but those who agreed with the decision did not dare to say it because the fear seemed insensitive.