According to The Guardian, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered up an explanation of why his company did not contextualise or remove posts from President Donald Trump that appeared to incite violence against the Minneapolis protesters, by stating, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
Trump posted identical messages on Twitter and Facebook this week and while the two social platforms have very similar policies on voter misinformation and glorifying violence, they dealt with Trump’s posts very differently.
“I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause an imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelt out in clear policies,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Facebook last Friday.
Facebook looked closely to evaluate whether Trump’s post violated the company’s policies, according to Zuckerberg. The words “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” have been attributed to a racist Miami police chief in 1967 who made clear his disdain for civil rights activists.
“Although the post had a troubling historical reference, we decided to leave it up because the National Guard references meant we read it as a warning about state action, and we think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force,” he stated.
He ended the post by saying that,
“I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinised out in the open.”
While the President’s posts remained on Facebook, Twitter flagged one of Trump’s tweets with the same content as “glorifying violence.”
ICYMI, the death of a black man, George Floyd last week in Minneapolis at the hands of police brutality sparked protests, both peaceful and violent, across the United States. Protesters are calling for justice from the police officers responsible for his death and calling for the death of systemic racism.
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