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Under pressure, Facebook vows to review content policies

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg faced criticism from employees for leaving up a post by President Trump that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company will review content policies after employees criticized his decision to leave up controversial posts from President Trump.

The company will review policies on posts that promote or threaten state use of force or voter suppression techniques, and will also look into options for flagging or labeling posts that are a violation but shouldn’t necessarily be removed entirely, the CEO wrote on Facebook.

He also pledged to study Facebook’s review structure “to make sure the right groups and voices are at the table.”

“While we will continue to stand for giving everyone a voice and erring on the side of free expression in these difficult decisions — even when it’s speech we strongly and viscerally disagree with — I’m committed to making sure we also fight for voter engagement and racial justice,” he wrote.

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Zuckerberg has been under intense pressure this week for his decision to leave up a recent post by Trump that said “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to protesters in Minneapolis. Thousands of current and former employees urged Zuckerberg to remove the post, and some workers staged a virtual walkout to protest his decision. In an internal poll, 5,500 employees voted to ask Zuckerberg to change its policies around political speech, according to the Washington Post.

Zuckerberg also announced Friday that Facebook will build more products dedicated to advancing racial justice. It’s also launching a new voter hub — similar to its offering for COVID-19 — where users can get vetted information.

In an Instagram video posted Friday, Adam Mosseri, head of the Facebook-owned platform, also pledged that the company would look into policies to ensure vulnerable communities are being properly protected.


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