Tags: Donald Trump | George Floyd Protests | facebook | mark zuckerberg | censorship | post

Facebook Staffer: Zuckerberg Gaslit Staff Following Trump Controversy

zuckerberg in a gray shirt holding his hands up
Mark Zuckerberg (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 24 July 2020 11:10 AM

A Facebook software engineer raised concerns before leaving the company that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and others were “gaslighting” the staff about President Donald Trump’s controversial post about protesters.

Max Wang, a Facebook employee for seven years, recorded a departing message that was shared on an internal discussion board earlier this month. In the video, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, he looked back on a Q&A session that Zuckerberg held after people began protesting the company’s decision to allow Trump’s post that appeared to threaten protesters with violence, and said that he felt “really uncomfortable” with what he heard.

"I felt like I was being lied to somehow, it took me a while to sort out exactly what that feeling was. I think it was gaslighting," he said.

Gaslighting is the intentional manipulation of a person that causes them to question their own sanity, or perception of reality.

"I couldn't shake the feeling there was this subtle bait-and-switch happening," Wang added, referring to the company’s focus on whether the post violated its policy.

"We weren't asking, 'Does this thing follow our policy?,' we weren't asking whether it was consistent with our policy not to take action, we were asking: 'Why do our policies allow for this thing? Why don't our policies require that we do take some kind of action?' But Mark framed his response about following policy, rather than fixing policy."

He added, "Now these two things, this slight misdirection on one hand and this laser focus on consistency on the other hand was really really unsettling to me. And in part it's because we are talking about Donald Trump. And there's a bit of irony in that because this is a thing that Trump does all the time."

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A Facebook software engineer raised concerns before leaving the company that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and others were "gaslighting" the staff about President Donald Trump's controversial post about protesters. Max Wang, a Facebook employee for seven years, recorded a...
facebook, mark zuckerberg, censorship, post
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2020-10-24
Friday, 24 July 2020 11:10 AM
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