Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will fight online extremism

Adjust Comment Print

According to a new report, a private discussion group among Facebook employees was shut down previous year after Donald Trump supporters within the group were allegedly harassing others. CEO Mark Zuckerberg later told employees that the group had been used to harass others.

This comes after anonymous in house chat-room on the social media site, dubbed FB Anon was shut down in December of 2016. Initially, the platform was used to discuss ethical issues such as taking home extra food from the company's cafeteria.

The forum had been popular with employees who supported the candidacy of Donald Trump in the contentious 2016 USA presidential race, according to the reports. It was reported that a poster advertising the group on Facebook's campus stated, "Trump Supporters Welcome", a sentiment that is typically out of place in Silicon Valley.

It isn't entirely clear from the WSJ report or another article on Business Insider what kinds of racist or sexist comments were getting posted to the FB Anon group.

Another worker said the management didn't envision "the wildfire around the election".

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple boss Tim Cook are the two latest high profile business leaders to rail against Donald Trump.

More news: Maria Sharapova lifts lid on feud with Serena Williams in new book

Though Sabo been booted from Facebook in the past for other reasons, if this time the censorship was sparked by his most recent anti-Zuckerberg posters, then Facebook has some explaining to do. The closure of the group named "Facebook Anon", in which users could write comments freely without revealing their identities, drew fire from right-leaning employees of the company.

In a statement Wednesday to the Washington Post, Facebook's head of human resources, Lori Goler, said the cornerstone of Facebook's culture is openness.

Facebook had previously run into problems with the anonymous group during the Black Lives Matter movement past year, around the time Zuckerberg spoke out against workers who crossed out "Black Lives Matter" and wrote "All Lives Matter" on the walls of the company's California headquarters. This means political groups like neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other extremists are not protected classes and therefore have no right to free speech online. "Regardless of the content or location, crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person's speech is more important than another's", Zuckerberg said at the time according to an internal memo obtained by Gizmodo. Facebook shut down eight group pages that it said violated hate-speech policies, including "Right Wing Death Squad" and "White Nationalists United".

Recently we came across a news of Google senior employee James Damore authored an Anti-Diversity "Manifesto" which went viral in media as it got leaked a famous news website.

"What's pushing them is probably a mix of people being revolted by the content, plus the public and advertising pressure", Keller said.

Comments