No matter how misleading or inflammatory, Mark Zuckerberg continues to support President Trump posting whatever he pleases.
“I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the President’s tweets and posts all day,” Facebook’s cofounder-CEO wrote late Friday. “Personally, I have a visceral negative reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric.”
“But I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity, but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression,” Zuckerberg added. “I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately, accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open.”
Late last week, Trump appeared to endorse the shooting of people looting businesses amid the growing protests in Minneapolis. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he wrote.
Trump said later that he wasn’t promoting violence, but merely stating a “fact.”
Not buying the President’s explanation, Twitter attached a warning label to a tweet with the same threatening words, which read: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
Twitter added the label despite the fact that Trump signed an executive order designed to regulate speech on social platforms, last Thursday. The order was clearly a response to Twitter’s decision to begin applying its standard content policies to the President, earlier in the week.
In response to Twitter’s policy shift, Zuckerberg said social networks should not be policing politicians.
“I don’t think Facebook or Internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Facebook’s cofounder-CEO said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” last week. “Political speech is one of the most sensitive parts in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians say.”
Breaking ranks, several Facebook employees are using their own social-media accounts to criticize Zuckerberg’s position.
Jason Toff, director of product management at Facebook, tweeted on Monday morning that he is “not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard.”
David Gillis, director of product design at Facebook, expressed his belief that Trump’s “shooting” post encouraged “extra-judicial violence and stokes racism.”
Unlike Facebook’s position, Gillis added he respected Twitter for taking on Trump.Adding another layer of intrigue, Zuckerberg spoke directly with Trump on Friday afternoon, according to Axios. Beyond being “productive,” the contents of the conversation have yet to be revealed.