Facebook, like other tech giants in Silicon Valley, has been accused of being biased towards whites. The company’s headquarters have “black lives matter” written on its walls, but people are now crossing it out and writing “all lives matter.” The act has continued even after founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue at a company-wide Q&A session last week, and this left him agitated.
Facebook CEO disappointed with employees
Facebook employees received a strongly-worded memo from Zuckerberg earlier this week in which he expressed his displeasure over several recent instances. Zuckerberg’s note suggests he is frustrated with people continuing this act even after he made it clear in the past that such behavior was unacceptable.
“I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behaviour before but after my communication I now consider this malicious as well …This has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community,” Zuckerberg’s note read.
Giving his own interpretation of the movement, Facebook’s CEO said that saying “black lives matter” does not mean that other lives do not.
“It’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”
Expressing his anger, Zuckerberg said that crossing out the slogan means “silencing speech, or that one person’s speech is more important than another’s.”
A heated issue
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg did send the memo, but the spokeswoman did not say if the company has been successful at identifying or disciplining the people behind the acts. Some walls of Facebook’s offices are covered in whiteboards which ask employees to write something. There are layers of messages, doodles and signatures from employees and visitors covering them.
In 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin, the phrase “black lives matter” sprung to life as a hashtag. It went viral on social media and attracted people to participate in discussions about police brutality and inequality. Thousands of people across the country unified on these issues, while some people retaliated with the slogan “all lives matter.”
Last year, Donna Brazile of CNN wrote on the issue, saying that when a person says “ALL lives matter,” it seems as if the person is trying to belittle the message that the slogan is trying to spread.
“Those who are experiencing the pain and trauma of the black experience in this country don’t want their rallying cry to be watered down with a generic feel-good catchphrase,” Brazile wrote.