Two Facebook software engineers quit over Trump posts


At least two Facebook software engineers have left the social media company over its decision not to flag inflammatory posts President Trump has made on the platform. 

“I cannot stand by Facebook’s continued refusal to act on the president’s bigoted messages aimed at radicalizing the American public,” Timothy Aveni wrote on a LinkedIn post. “I’m scared for my country, and I’m watching my company do nothing to challenge the increasingly dangerous status quo.”

Another employee, Owen Anderson, announced his departure from the company on Twitter. 

The moves by Aveni and Anderson reflect escalating tensions between Facebook and its employees.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday defended the company’s decision not to take action against Trump‘s controversial posts about protests that have swept the nation in response to the death of George Floyd

On Thursday, Trump said on Twitter and Facebook that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a phrase first used by a racist Miami police chief in the 1960s and one critics interpreted as a call for violence against demonstrators.

Trump also said he would send in the National Guard to “get the job done right.” Since the tweet, the National Guard and federal law enforcement in Washington, D.C., and several other U.S. cities have used force to disperse protesters. 

Twitter placed a warning on the president’s tweet, claiming that it promoted violence. It also flagged a tweet from the president that presented unbacked claims about mail-in voting, which led him to sign an executive order aimed at lifting legal protections for social media companies. 

But in a statement shared on Facebook on Friday, Zuckerberg held that “our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the departure of the two employees.

Tags deaths in police custody Donald Trump Facebook George Floyd LinkedIn Mark Zuckerberg National Guard police brutality Timothy Aveni Twitter

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