Facebook Employees Fight for Political Diversity

Facebook conservative employees

We Have a Problem With Political Diversity

On August 20th, an internal message was posted by senior Facebook engineer Brian Amerige about the intolerance of opposing opinions within the social media company, prompting the creation of a new group - “FB’ers for Political Diversity.” In a post titled “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity,” Amerige stated: “We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views, … 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.”

Over one hundred employees joined his initiative with the goal of encouraging a wider range of worldviews. Even though Amerige himself has prohibited personal attacks in “FB’ers for Political Diversity,” many were quick to judge the group, claiming its content was offensive to minorities. According to an engineer, who wishes to stay anonymous, all complaints were rejected as the material in question had not broken any company rules.

An Impossible Choice

Amerige, who joined Facebook in 2012, stated that, when it comes to heated topics such as diversity and immigration, “you can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.” He hopes that people will start exchanging and debating their political ideas in the group, thus enabling anyone to express their views on the platform.

This is not the first time the company’s employees started such a group. Facebook shut down “Facebook Anon,” a group formed by Trump-supporters back in 2016, for the supposed violation of a rule prohibiting the use of anonymous accounts. However, a Business Insider report indicates that the group’s content “alarmed management.”

What Bias?

While acknowledging his awareness of the fact that most Silicon Valley firms have left-leaning tendencies, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg denied accusations of bias, firmly continuing to argue that his company is a “platform for all ideas.” These words, unfortunately, sound much less convincing after taking into account every reported case of shutting down conservative voices (most notably banning Alex Jones last month).

Not to mention Zuckerberg supporting immigration reform, donating to Democratic politicians, or Facebook refusing to work with openly right-wing entrepreneurs. For instance, Palmer Luckey, the creator of Oculus virtual reality goggles, which Facebook had acquired, left the company last year due to pressure caused by donating to an organization which spread memes against Hillary Clinton. Another example is Peter Thiel who has been criticized for his strong support of President Trump and often called to resign.

In the past two years, especially during the recent events, conservative and classical liberal politicians and activists have been successfully shaking the loyalist attitude among Facebook employees, as well as the public’s trust in social media. “We are entrusted by a great part of the world to be impartial and transparent carriers of people’s stories, ideas and commentary,” Amerige wrote. “Congress doesn’t think we can do this. The president doesn’t think we can do this. And like them or not, we deserve that criticism.”

Vilim Muršić / Journalist
I am a medical student from Croatia with years of experience in writing, acting and 3D modeling. As a patriot and a conservative, I wish to help spread the truth and stand up for what's right.
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