Several metropolitan areas saw large-scale demonstrations on Friday about the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody on Memorial Day.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his controversial decision to drop President Donald Trump's posts about Minneapolis protests on the social media platform. Trump's post on Friday warned in part: "When the looting begins, the shooting begins."
“I know that many people are upset that we have left the president's positions, but our position is that we should allow as much expression as possible, unless it causes an imminent risk of specific damage or danger spelled out in clear policies & # 39; & # 39; said Zuckerberg. wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
While the posts remained on Facebook, Twitter signaled one of Trump's tweets with the same content as "glorifying violence".
Zuckerberg wrote: “I've been struggling to respond to the President's tweets and posts all day. Personally, I have a negative visceral reaction to this kind of divisive and inflammatory rhetoric … but I am responsible for reacting not only in my personal capacity, but as the leader of an institution committed to freedom of expression ".
Facebook looked closely to assess whether Trump's post violated company policies, according to Zuckerberg. The words "when looting begins, shooting begins" were attributed to a Miami police chief in 1967, who made clear his disdain for civil rights activists.
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That Miami police chief, Walter Hedley, promised to crack down on "young hoodlums" and dispatched police dogs and police armed with shotguns to enforce order in minority communities.
"Although the post has a worrying historical reference, we decided to drop it because the National Guard's references meant that we read it as a warning about state action," wrote Zuckerberg, "and we think people need to know if the government is planning do it. deploy strength ".
"Our policy around inciting violence allows for discussions about the use of force by the state, although I think the situation today raises important questions about what the potential limits of that discussion should be."
Social media companies' handling of the president's tweets and posts was revised this week when Twitter added checks to Trump's tweets, which made unsubstantiated claims about the ballots by mail. Zuckerberg questioned the decision, saying that private companies should not serve as an "arbiter of the truth".
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