In an attempt to restrict clashes over politics, the pandemic, racial injustice, and a slew of other social issues on its internal employee message board, Facebook on Thursday announced that it will be updating workplace policy.
Facebook Inc. told its employees that it will introduce a set of new restrictions on what social and political issues staff is allowed to discuss. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told staff during a weekly employee Q&A session that the rules will be introduced, but the exact nature of those rules will be unveiled next week.
The move comes in the wake of recently surfaced leaks from Facebook’s internal messaging platform, Workplace, showing intense debate among staff. “We deeply value expression and open discussion,” Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said in a statement.
Osborne went on to say that the employees have requested to be allowed to join debates on social and political issues rather than just see them in the work feed. He said the company is updating its employee policies and work tool to make sure the “culture remains respectful and inclusive.”
Zuckerberg said the staff should refrain from discussing polarizing political and social issues during work time, The Wall Street Journal reported. He added that the conversations of the staff on the messaging platform will be moderated and monitored.
The social media giant has come under fire from people and its own staff recently. In June, some employees participated in a virtual walkout in protest of the decision to leave President Trump’s misleading post on the platform.
Aside from the staff, the public has also accused Facebook of allowing hate, propaganda, and misinformation to remain on its platform. Some called out the company’s CEO as hypocritical citing his claims to stand for “voice and free expression.”
Zuckerberg doesn’t see it that way. He reportedly told the staff that the new rules will only protect people from being harassed, and support underrepresented employees. Google LLC is also reportedly keeping an eye on internal discussions on messaging boards citing months of heated debates about social issues.