Facebook shares are trading approximately 5% off its all-time highs, at the beginning of June 2020, as
the company faces an issue about their posting methodology. Employees of the company are in the
process of staging a rebellion against the Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who decided against a
process that would allow the company to censor specific messages. This comes in the wake of the
decision by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who decided that since the Trump administration’s deception about
the virus was lethal, Twitter would begin to notify users when there was an untrue tweet, especially if it
came from the President of the United States.
The Decision to Censor Leaders
Facebook understands fully that its platform can sway individuals. In a recent Wall Street Journal report
Facebook performed research that showed that its algorithms exploit the human brain’s attractiveness
to divisiveness. The Facebook research showed that if the algorithms that it provides are left unchecked
that its products would seed more divisiveness.
To help reduce the tension ahead of the 2020 election, Jack Dorsey, made some mild moves against the
president who has been lying and inciting violence on Twitter for years. The change that Twitter invoked
was that they added footnotes clarifying false Trump tweets about mail-in ballots and put a warning
label on the president’s tweet about the riots that have arisen in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
Trump immediately pushed back. The President loves Twitter because he can talk directly to his
constituents without having his rhetoric censored. He has always claimed that the media lies and he
reports and “alternative truth”. Without having a way to describe how he sees the world directly, he
cannot insight his base. To punish Twitter, Trump signed an executive order that would punish social
media platforms. He has also called on Congress to withdraw “rule 230” which protects social media
platform from suits that were driven by information placed on the platform
How Do Facebook Employees Feel
Facebook is now facing a rebellion from its employees over Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to act against
Donald Trump in a way that was similar to the way Dorsey acted. Facebook employees showed their
displeasure with their CEO by taking to social media to express their dissatisfaction with their boss in a
rare display of dissent.
According to reports, the dissatisfaction came from employees at all levels of the company, including
some senior staff. Particular criticism targetted Zuckerberg’s personal decision to leave up the Facebook
version of a tweet sent by Trump in which the president appeared to encourage police to shoot rioters.
By contrast, Twitter decided that this message needed to be hidden behind a warning. Zuckerberg said
he disagreed with Twitter’s interpretation of the comments that were made by the American President.
While Zuckerberg said that he does not agree with the comments from the President, he believes that
people should be able to see this for themselves. This comes as the research that Facebook conducted
said that this kind of activity insights violence and division. While Zuckerberg has made donations to
help the fight against racism he has been unwilling to censor content on his platform.
The Bottom Line
Despite the unrest occurring throughout the United States, Facebook’s share price has remained
elevated as the company continues to innovate and create new products. The company recently
announced a new product that will provide chat that will compete directly with Slack. It also recently
announced a new product that would allow groups to video conference which will compete directly with
Microsoft’s Teams and the product produced by Zoom. The internal conflict the company is facing will
likely make some inroads but Facebook appears to be a long way from censoring the President of
The United States.