Twitter, Facebook and Reddit exploded last week when executives at all three companies took down posts that called for banishment of Muslims on a presumed Muslim terror holiday.
The executives were responding to a post by Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative internet celebrity who was actually kicked off Facebook’s platform for violating the social media site’s community standards. Yiannopoulos encouraged his 11,000 followers to sign a petition calling for the banning of Muslims from Sukkot.
Yiannopoulos referred to the holiday as the “Islamic feast of Satan,” and maintained that “the west will self-destruct until we recognize that their (Muslims) god teaches mass murder.”
Facebook, Twitter and Reddit all shut down the posts on the Monday after Sukkot. So what happens when employees find out what their company was doing? When a former executive for Google apologized to his former coworkers for his decision to stay silent about the mass censorship of what he viewed as highly offensive posts.
According to the Daily Beast, Jon Steinberg was one of the Facebook employees deeply affected by his current company’s censorship practices. Steinberg is the CEO of the news and media company Upworthy.
Steinberg’s image on his LinkedIn page now shows him wearing a T-shirt that says “Dear Facebook,” with the caption “I’m sorry I cared.” The juxtaposition of the removal of anti-Muslim posts that reportedly precipitated the ACLU’s lawsuit against Facebook’s censorship policies and the removal of political statements that employees identify as “wrong” is chilling.