Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network will “always” welcome Muslims, and Muslim users of the network should expect Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to “fight” for the protection of their rights and creation of a peaceful and safe environment for them.
Goggle’s Schmidt shared similar views
Zuckerberg’s comments follow the call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The racist policy proposal has been widely condemned but has emboldened existing prejudices against the Muslim community.
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“As a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up against attacks on all communities. Even if an attack isn’t against you today, in time attacks on freedom for anyone will hurt everyone,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
Though a post from Zuckerberg is not sufficient to alter national policy, the fact that Facebook is clearly standing in support of Muslims will play an important role in setting the tone of online discourse. Google’s Eric Schmidt also shared similar views earlier this week.
In a New York Times op-ed piece, Schmidt said that the internet should be kept safe from hate and harassment and that leaders in both government and technology should ensure this.
“We need leaders to use the new power of technology to allow us to broaden our horizons as individuals, and in the process broaden the horizons of our society,” Schmidt wrote.
Facebook CEO’s post liked by users
Facebook has 1.44 billion monthly active users, and this makes it an international marketplace of ideas. Zuckerberg’s post was highly appreciated, and within one hour, it garnered 249,781 likes, was shared 29,163 times, and received 13,835 comments.
“We must not lose hope. As long as we stand together and see the good in each other, we can build a better world for all people,” he wrote.
Though the majority praised the posting, there were some who criticized Facebook for not being quick enough to clamp down on anti-Muslim hate speech. Stéphane Séchaud, a resident of Scotland, said she reported several posts for racism against Muslims but that they were left by Facebook.
On Wednesday, Facebook shares closed down 1.77% at $104.60. Year to date, the stock is up by over 34%, while in the last one month, it is down by almost 2%.