Former Facebook employees blast company's 'cowardly' stance on Trump posts in open letter
Former Facebook employees who worked for the social network during its early stages are blasting the company for its position on posts from President Donald Trump about the George Floyd protests.
In an open letter published by The New York Times, the group of more than 30 employees said Facebook should fact check posts from politicians and label harmful posts.
"This is a betrayal of the ideals Facebook claims," reads the letter. "The company we joined valued giving individuals a voice as loud as their government’s – protecting the powerless rather than the powerful."
The letter also offers support to employees who spoke up this week to criticize Facebook's inaction on Trump's posts. The former employees say by citing newsworthiness as a reason to not fact check or label posts from politicians, there is no line they cannot cross.
CES 2021: The show will go on, in person
"(Facebook) claims that providing warnings about a politician’s speech is inappropriate, but removing content from citizens is acceptable, even if both are saying the same thing. That is not a noble stand for freedom. It is incoherent, and worse, it is cowardly," reads the letter.
Several Facebook employees took to social media to protest the company's decision to leave posts by Trump on the protests untouched. One post includes the quote, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."
By comparison, social media site Twitter labeled similar messages by Trump as violating rules against "glorifying violence."
"I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up," Jason Toff, a product management director, wrote on Twitter.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended leaving the posts untouched in a post on the platform, saying it should allow for as much free expression as possible.
"People can agree or disagree on where we should draw the line, but I hope they understand our overall philosophy is that it is better to have this discussion out in the open, especially when the stakes are so high," he wrote.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.