Employee who protested Facebook’s stance on Trump post fired due to tweet


Facebook faced criticism for not taking action against a Trump post that employees said could incite violence.

Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook fired an employee who protested the social network’s hands-off approach to a controversial post by President Donald Trump, after the worker publicly called out another employee’s “inaction” in a tweet. 

Brandon Dail, who worked as an engineer at Facebook in Seattle, said in a tweet Friday that he lost his job after he asked another employee to add a Black Lives Matter banner to a website about a tool built by Facebook. Dail said the employee refused because he didn’t want to get political. 

In a public tweet posted June 2, Dail mentioned the employee by name and said that “intentionally not making a statement is already political.” 

Facebook confirmed that Dail’s characterization of his firing was accurate but didn’t provide further details. Dail didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The social network has faced criticism from its own employees for not taking action against a post from Trump that workers and critics said could incite violence. Earlier this month, hundreds of employees staged a rare virtual walkout to protest the company’s stance on political speech. A Trump post included the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in response to protests that erupted following the death of George Floyd. Some employees quit while others threatened to leave the company. 

Facebook said Trump’s post didn’t violate its rules against inciting violence and that it allows for discussion around the state use of force. The social network’s approach contrasted with that of Twitter. The rival social network screened out the president’s tweet with a notice that says the post violates its rules against glorifying violence. But because the president’s words are of public interest, Twitter said, users can click a View button in the notice to go ahead and read the tweet. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last week that the company is reviewing its policies, including rules that allow for the discussion about the use of state force. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said in a letter posted to Twitter on Thursday that they’re “deeply shaken and disgusted” by Trump’s “divisive and incendiary rhetoric.”

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