Employee says Facebook “complicit in the propagation of weaponized hatred,” resigns

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News: Software engineer Timothy Aveni wrote on Facebook and LinkedIn he is quitting his job over the company’s decision to leave up Trump’s “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” post. He is one among many others to publicly disagree with this decision made by Zuckerberg.

Here are five components of the story:
  • Trump’s post on Twitter about looters has received much flak, as he seems to be calling for violence and armed guards to violently suppress peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd by police officers. Trump also said that he would send in the National Guard to “get the job done right.”
  • While Twitter issued a warning that Trump’s tweet “glorified violence,” Facebook left the post up because, Zuckerberg said, it doesn’t violate its policies against causing “imminent risk of specific harms or dangers.” This decision has resulted in employees staging a virtual walkout in protest, but Aveni is the first to publicly resign.
  • Zuckerberg however defends the decision made, as reported by the New York Times. Unless a post causes “imminent risk of specific harms or dangers,” he said, Facebook sides with free expression.
  • However, a twitter user (@suspendthepres) decided to prove a point in a different way. This account copied Trump’s tweets and posted them from their account, in an attempt to see if the account would get suspended. The tweet that triggered SuspendThePres’ suspension was an exact copy of Trump’s now infamous “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” tweet from May 28, which threatened violence against citizens protesting police brutality. It was the first tweet SuspendThePres copied.
  • Trump’s tweet remains up, albeit behind a warning, while SuspendThePres had to delete the tweet.
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