Facebook Employees Felt ‘Silenced’ After Company Shut Down Pro-Trump Discussion Group, Says Report
In December 2016, Facebook terminated an anonymous, pro-Trump online group created by employees, according to a Business Insider report published Wednesday.
CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly justified the decision by alleging the forum helped spread harassment.
Known as Facebook Anon, the internal group was created in May 2015 and lasted until December 2016 when company leadership shut it down. A sign with the beginning and end dates of the group as well as the pithy phrase “Silenced, but not silent” appeared on Facebook’s campus after the tech conglomerate issued the kibosh.
The tipping point for Facebook may have been when it heard there were debates over the Black Lives Matter movement in the forum, as that coalition and cause was further emerging in early 2016, Business Insider reports. Around that same time, Zuckerberg scolded workers who crossed out the activist groups’ name with “All Lives Matter” on the company’s signature wall.
The social media company has been accused of unfair treatment based on political affiliations before. A former journalist who used to work at Facebook told Gizmodo last year that curators for the platform’s news feed buried conservative news sites, while also boosting unpopular, undeserving stories just to push a certain narrative.
To ostensibly help with potential bias and the purported problem of “fake news,” it later decided to collaborate with Snopes, a fact-checking website, that employs almost exclusively Leftists.
Facebook isn’t the only tech giant to be accused of censorship.
Google fired James Damore, a software engineer, for writing a memo criticizing the company’s diversity. The missive, which was circulated among the company, addressed his concerns of Google’s biases, and suggested that the company “stop alienating conservatives,” “be open about the science of human nature,” and “have an open and honest discussion about the costs and benefits of our diversity programs.”
Despite the firing, Google CEO Sundar Pichai asserted that diverse opinions are beneficial for a company and employees “must feel free to express dissent.”
“However,” Pichai wrote in his own memo to employees, “portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
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