Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Friday, 26 February 2016

Black Lives Matter and FB

Mark Zuckerberg Gives Facebook Staff Ticking Off For Black Lives Matter Graffiti

The Debrief: Like a headmaster, the tech boss has had to remind his campus-dwelling staff that writing ‘all lives matter’ on posters is a bit remiss…

Have you heard about the Facebook campus? Just like the Google campus and the Tinder campus and the Apple one, it’s meant to be a vision of the future; bright sparks carry their ethically-sourced coffee cups to meetings in shiny glass rooms where they fling around ideas before heading off to a free lunch and return to their desks to help change the structure of the online world most of the world now inhabit.

But it turns out Facebook’s Menlo Park campus might not be the vision of our brave new tech world’s idyllic working future at all, as Mark Zuckerberg has been compelled to send a private memo out to his staff to give them a ticking off.

The memo, leaked to Gizmodo, reads: ‘There have been several instances of people crossing out “black lives matter” and writing “all lives matter” on the walls at MPK [Menlo Park].’

He mentions how he’d already had a word with staff about not doing this, but after the vandalism persisted: ‘I now consider this malicious as well.’

Spelling it out once more, he explained: ‘“Black lives matter” doesn’t mean other lives don’t - it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.’

He added, ‘We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls - we expect everybody to treat each other with respect.’

Mark has now launched an investigation into who’s been writing on the walls. As magical as it may seem that Facebook workers are allowed to write on each others' actual, physical walls instead of the proverbial Facebook wall, it's a bit grim that such a supposedly modern company has so many backward people in its realm.

But fingers crossed for the black employees at Facebook who’ve found the experience, in Mark’s words: ‘deeply hurtful and tiresome’. If the people going out of their way to upset them on a campus that is already very white and male-dominated are caught and fittingly punished, perhaps some of that logic can trickle down through the company and eventually see hateful Facebook-hosted pages such as Britain First and the EDL given the same treatement.

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Tags: Facebook et al