Facebook, and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, have had a eventful last week. After facing severe backlash, both from the general public and employees over its policies, Facebook has announced that it will be donating $10 million to groups fighting for racial justice.
The announcement came on June 1, just days after the Trump fiasco. After George Floyd’s death erupted into nationwide protests, some of them being violent and encouraging looting stores, Trump made some pretty harsh comments on his social media handles. He threatened to include the National Guard to calm the situation down, and tweeted “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Later on, he went to clear the air by giving a new meaning to his statement.
“Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night – or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means,” he said.
Twitter decided to flag the tweet for glorifying violence, while Facebook did nothing. However, that did not pan out well for the company, as it faced massive backlash from all across the board.
Thus, Mark Zuckerberg came out with another statement, to put some faith back in the “free expression’ platform. “The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace. It reminds us yet again that the violence Black people in America live with today is part of a long history of racism and injustice. We all have the responsibility to create change,” he said, adding that the company stands with the black community.
He even pointed out the fact that the video by Darnella Frazier, which became the reason for the whole outrage in the first place, was posted on Facebook and added that he was grateful that his platform became the medium for this cultural exchange, adding that “…we all needed to see that.”
Then, he went on the recognise the need of keeping people safe, and ensuring that the platform doesn’t amplify bias. To that end, he announced $10 million for groups working on racial justice. “We’re working with our civil rights advisors and our employees to identify organizations locally and nationally that could most effectively use this right now.”
Now, you might be wondering if $10 million is enough to make a dent into a problem as big and as ubiquitous as racism. Zuckerberg thinks it’s not, as he mentioned, “I know that $10 million can’t fix this. It needs sustained, long term effort.” Therefore, he went on to ensure that this donation is not the only thing the company is doing to fight racism, adding, “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has been one of the largest funders, investing ~$40 million annually for several years in organizations working to overcome racial injustice. Priscilla and I are committed to this work, and we expect to be in this fight for many years to come. This week has made it clear how much more there is to do.”
As of yet, Donald Trump did manage to deploy not just the National Guard, but the military as well. The situation, however, does not seem to be de-escalating any time soon. World leaders globally have expressed concern over the situation, including Indian PM Narendra Modi, during a recent call with Trump.
Facebook employees decided to organise “virtual walkouts” to protest the company’s decisions, demanding not only some sort of action, but to address the lack of diversity in the workforce.