facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in October. REUTERS/Erin Scott


  • Facebook is refusing to change its decision to allow a post from President Donald Trump about the US protests.
  • Late on Thursday, Trump posted on Facebook and Twitter, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter said the post was “glorifying violence” and hid it with a disclaimer — but Facebook disagreed.
  • At a heated meeting on Tuesday, Facebook employees challenged CEO Mark Zuckerberg as he stuck by his decision.
  • Employees have staged virtual walkouts over Facebook’s decision, and some have resigned.

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t backing down.

On a heated call with employees on Tuesday, the Facebook CEO refused to change course on the company’s decision to allow a post by President Donald Trump that has been criticized as “glorifying violence,” according to a source familiar with the matter. The New York Times first reported on the meeting.

As protests over police brutality have engulfed the US in recent days, Facebook has faced a wave of internal unrest. It was sparked by the company’s refusal to take action against a post of Trump’s that said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts” — a phrase used by a Southern police chief during civil-rights unrest in the 1960s.

Trump also posted the phrase on Twitter, which determined that the tweet was “glorifying violence” and attached a warning label to it. But Zuckerberg said it didn’t break Facebook’s rules.

Facebook employees have responded with the largest public protest in the company’s 16-year history, with dozens tweeting their objections to the decision and as many as 400 taking part in a virtual walkout on Monday, according to The Verge. (Most employees are working from home because of the pandemic.) At least one employee has publicly resigned in protest, accusing the company of being “on the wrong side of history.”

At the all-hands meeting on Tuesday, employees emotionally and repeatedly challenged Zuckerberg on the company’s policies on what is allowed on the social network. One employee told Business Insider that they believed Zuckerberg’s decision was technically correct, given the existing policies, but raised concerns about the policies themselves.

“I think there’s a moral imperative to start wading into the admittedly muddy waters of impact and intent … I understand why they’ve acted the way they have,” the employee said. “But I question whether it is ultimately sustainable.”

On Friday, Zuckerberg said in a public Facebook post that he had a “visceral negative reaction” to Trump’s post but did not think it amounted to inciting violence. Zuckerberg spoke with Trump about his posts before issuing a statement.

As reported by Business Insider