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Facebook workers are defacing “Black Lives Matter” slogans—and Zuckerberg is furious

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
The scene of the crime.
  • Kate Groetzinger
By Kate Groetzinger

Ideas fellow

This article is more than 2 years old.

Facebook’s signature wall, which serves as a dry-erase message board at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, has become the site of a racially-charged graffiti war in recent weeks. Employees of the company have been crossing out  ”Black Lives Matter” on the wall and writing “All Lives Matter,” instead, Gizmodo reported.

It’s not a good look for Facebook, whose staff is only 2% black, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg angrily intervened yesterday (Feb. 24). The company founder, who had already addressed the issue once before, sent an internal memo demanding that the behavior stop immediately.

“I was already disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before, but after my communication I consider this malicious as well,” he said, in a memo obtained by Gizmodo.

He added:

There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism. “Black lives matter” doesn’t mean other lives don’t—it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.

We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls—we expect everybody to treat each other with respect. Regardless of content or location, crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person’s speech is more important than another’s. Facebook should be a service and a community where everyone is treated with respect.

This has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community, and we are now investigating the current incidents.

 

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