Here’s What Mark Zuckerberg Said to Facebook Employees About Trump

Employees said the CEO seemed scared and insincere

mark zuckerberg
Employees were unconvinced by Zuckerberg's comments.
Johannes Simon/Getty Images
By Carl Caminetti / June 5, 2020 12:09 pm

Last week, Facebook’s decision not to take action against Donald Trump’s controversial posts about mail-in ballots and Minnesota protests sparked widespread dissent among employees, leading a few hundred to participate in a virtual walkout.

Tuesday morning, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a meeting with employees over video chat to discuss concerns related to the decision. A recording of the 85-minute meeting was obtained by the Verge’s Casey Newton, who wrote that meeting “offers a valuable window into Mark Zuckerberg’s decision-making progress, his planned next steps, and the ongoing dissatisfaction of some employees.”

Among Newton’s takeaways from the meeting was the revelation that Zuckerberg may consider implementing temporary speech restrictions for state actors in the United States if unrest continues. “If we were entering a period where there may be a prolonged period of civil unrest, then that might suggest that we need different policies, even if just temporarily in the United States for some period, compared to where we were before,” Zuckerberg said, noting that the company had taken similar measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.

The call also revealed that Zuckerberg had talked to Trump about the posts, but supposedly only after the decision to keep them had been made. Only one black employee, Facebook’s global diversity officer Maxine Williams, was involved in the final decision, though Zuckerberg claimed there are additional black employees on the policy and integrity teams.

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook has a seven-point plan to address concerns over the decision, which includes re-examining various policies and including more diverse viewpoints on the policy team.

Employees told Newton that the conversation with Zuckerberg was largely unconvincing, with one reportedly saying the CEO seemed “really scared” on the call. “I think he fears his employees turning on him,” the employee said.

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