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Facebook to review 'state use of force' post policies following upset over Trump comments

Brittany De Lea

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday said the social media giant would review some of its policies after employees criticized how he handled recent sensitive posts on the platform – specifically some penned by President Trump.

In a blog post on his personal page, Zuckerberg said the company is reviewing how it handles discussions and threats involving “state use of force,” including “excessive use of police or state force.” He also said the social media platform is looking into potentially imposing greater restrictions on this type of speech during periods of civil unrest or conflict.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, Zuckerberg came under fire from employees who were upset about his treatment of Trump’s posts about state force on the platform. While Twitter began flagging the president’s content with a new context feature, Zuckerberg told Fox News he believed Facebook should not be “the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

Specifically, Twitter placed a warning label on a tweet posted by the president regarding protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd. The tweet used the words “thugs” to describe protesters and it also used the controversial phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The phrase has origins in the Civil Rights era when it was used to justify police efforts to crack down black demonstrators.

Trump posted the same message on Facebook, where no action was taken by the site, to the dismay of some employees.

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On Friday, Zuckerberg reiterated his commitment to “erring on the side of free expression … even when it's speech we strongly and viscerally disagree with,” but he said Facebook is also committed to fighting racial injustice.

With that goal in mind, Facebook has started building products to advance racial justice, with more details coming soon regarding those products. He said the company is reviewing internal structures as a means to make sure all groups are represented in Facebook’s decision-making process.

The business leader ended his post with a note about how he believes social media companies can play a positive role in overcoming racial injustice in America, but that companies have to take action to ensure that their roles are “as positive as possible.”

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