Facebook's move against hate speech
- Author: Ronnie Bowen Aug 20, 2017,
Aug 20, 2017, 0:59
An anonymous in-house chatroom at Facebook that had become a "hub" for Donald Trump supporters was closed past year by the company after comments made on the forum disturbed management, according to several reports.
However, the group was abruptly shut down by Facebook in December 2016 without explanation. Removing those pages was the right move, especially if the groups were using Facebook to promote violence. However, over the course of the 2016 election, this anonymous group reportedly became a hub for political discussion and comments, which reportedly alarmed Facebook management.
Cantwell says Facebook shut down his account in an attempt to silence him for his views. It was reported that a poster advertising the group on Facebook's campus stated, "Trump Supporters Welcome", a sentiment that is typically out of place in Silicon Valley. The posters don't appear make anyone unsafe, nor do they denounce or attack a group based on their ethnicity, race, religious affiliation, gender, or any of the other reasons Facebook lists in its community standards page on hate speech.
Earlier this month, an anti-diversity "manifesto" went viral inside Google, infuriating its employees.
York says "most of the world's governments and almost all Silicon Valley companies" decided that terrorists "don't get speech rights".
JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon, a member of the Strategy and Policy Forum, released a statement on Wednesday saying he strongly disagreed with Trump's recent statements, adding that "fanning divisiveness is not the answer". But Lori Goler, Facebook's head of people, said in a statement to The Journal that FB Anon violated the company's terms of service, which require users to give authentic identities.
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Facebook had previously run into problems with the anonymous group during the Black Lives Matter movement previous year, around the time Zuckerberg spoke out against workers who crossed out "Black Lives Matter" and wrote "All Lives Matter" on the walls of the company's California headquarters.
Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want any part of it on his social media site.
The internal group was created in May 2015 as a popular platform for employees to share their opinions about the workplace.
The Facebook CEO wrote a passionate post condemning violence and promising to bring people closer together by encouraging constructive public discourse. The group was often used for talking about less controversial topics, like the ethics of taking home extra dinner from the company cafeteria. Those leaning to the right utilized it as a safe haven and eventually took advantage.
"I don't think they really thought there would be too many people on the Trump side", said the former employee.