Facebook and Twitter are not the only companies being asked to pick sides and to assert leadership in the aftermath. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel sent a memo to his staff Sunday calling for social justice, according to The Information, which reported on the letter. On Sunday, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, tweeted support for Black Lives Matter.
On Sunday, Amazon posted a message on Twitter saying, “the inequitable and brutal treatment of black people in our country must stop.” Amazon's message came just weeks after the company had to publicly account for its own treatment of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amazon workers have complained of unhealthy conditions in warehouses, and last month, a top Amazon engineer, Tim Bray, resigned in protest and called out the company's treatment of employees of color.
By Friday, Facebook employees were expressing concerns about its policies via internal company message boards, according to The Verge. At a time when rival Twitter was getting credit for cracking down on bad tweets from the president, some Facebook employees wondered if their company was being too obsequious regarding an issue that called for bolder action.
“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavor in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” tweeted Ryan Freitas, a Facebook product designer.
Zuckerberg did share his personal thoughts on the protests and Floyd’s death: “I know Facebook needs to do more to support equality and safety for the Black community through our platforms,” Zuckerberg wrote on Sunday on Facebook. “As hard as it was to watch, I'm grateful that Darnella Frazier posted on Facebook her video of George Floyd's murder because we all needed to see that. We need to know George Floyd's name. But it's clear Facebook also has more work to do to keep people safe and ensure our systems don't amplify bias.”
Facebook has given its approval to workers who want to publicly distance from company policies. “We recognize the pain many of our people are feeling right now, especially our Black community,” a Facebook spokesman said in an email statement. “We encourage employees to speak openly when they disagree with leadership. As we face additional difficult decisions around content ahead, we'll continue seeking their honest feedback.”
Correction: Lauren Tan is one of the Facebook engineers who protested the company's policies. Her name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.