Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has weighed in on the violent protests that took place in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, condemning neo-Nazis and promising to make Facebook “a place where everyone can feel safe.”
“The last few days have been hard to process. I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from,” Zuckerberg wrote Wednesday afternoon. “As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life. It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious.”
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Zuckerberg added that there will always be evil in the world, but that he wants to create more “balance, nuance, and depth in our public discourse,” presumably through Facebook. The company is trying to do some of that already by altering the kinds of stories it shows users in their News Feeds.
Zuckerberg also said that Facebook has “always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism.”
Over the weekend it removed an event page for the “Unite the Right” rally, but not until the page had been up for weeks. The social network has also been proactively removing links to a hate-post from a neo-Nazi website called the Daily Stormer, which glorified the killing of Heather Heyer, an anti-Nazi protester who was killed when a car rammed into a group of participants.
Zuckerberg has been outspoken on a lot of issues this year, though condemning Nazis is basically a no-brainer. (At least, that was the thinking until about 24 hours ago …)
If anything, it’s a little surprising it took Zuckerberg so long to chime in. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted something on Monday, and more than a half dozen CEOs have abandoned President Donald Trump’s advisory councils since the weekend; Trump eliminated two of the councils as a result.