Some Facebook staffers are pushing back against the social network’s left-leaning politics, joining a new group to challenge its “intolerant” stance on alternative viewpoints.
The group, first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday evening, came to fruition after an internal message board post, dubbed “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity,” started circulating last week.
“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, said in the post, according to The Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
More than 100 workers have joined the “FB’ers for Political Diversity” group, which has offended some minority employees, according to the Times. Facebook overall has about 25,000 employees
“On day 1 of Facebook’s new hire orientation in Menlo Park, everyone hears from our chief diversity officer about the importance of diversity and how to have respectful conversations with people who have different viewpoints,” Bertie Thompson, director of corporate communications at Facebook, said in a statement to TheWrap.
Certain topics, like immigration, are too radioactive to discuss at work, according to Amerige in his post. “You can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.”
Many employees are also struggling with Facebook’s content policy, according to the Times, after the company was thrust into the headlines, along with Spotify and Apple, for banning digital conspiracy theorist Alex Jones earlier this month.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, while speaking to Congress earlier this year, acknowledged Silicon Valley is an “extremely left leaning place,” but he aims for the company to not “have bias in the work that we do.” Zuckerberg has occasionally voiced his political opinion, notably arguing against President Trump’s immigration policy in June. The company announced in May Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, was spearheading an investigation into its perceived anti-conservative bias.
“FB’ers for Political Diversity” comes to light at the same time President Trump has called out several tech giants for “suppressing” conservatives. Trump said on Tuesday “Google, and Twitter and Facebook, they are really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful. It is not fair to large portions of the population.”