Following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, protests have sparked across the country as citizens have taken to the streets to voice their outrage at his wrongful death.
While already terrible, one of the notably vile lines here is when President Trump tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts," which has been attributed to a 1967 order by segregationist Miami Police Chief Walter Headley.
Because of these inflammatory and violence-inciting tweets from the President, many have asked why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn't taken any action in deleting them entirely, rather than putting a content warning label on it. On Friday night, Zuckerberg explained the companies decision to erase the President's tweets completely, writing in lengthy a Facebook post:
"We looked very closely at the post that discussed the protests in Minnesota to evaluate whether it violated our policies. Although the post had a troubling historical reference, we decided to leave it up because the National Guard references meant we read it as a warning about state action, and we think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force. Our policy around incitement of violence allows discussion around state use of force, although I think today's situation raises important questions about what potential limits of that discussion should be."
This statement, however, contradicts something Zuckerberg said months prior when discussing politicians posting violent content on his companies platform. When talking with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, he said that "If anyone, including a politician, is saying things that can cause, that is calling for violence or could risk imminent physical harm.... we will take that content down."
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez cited this discrepancy on Twitter as well, following Zuckerberg's new statement.
While Zuckerberg said in his most recent statement that he doesn't agree with the President's posts, it looks to be unlikely that they will be deleted, with him closing by saying, "People can agree or disagree on where we should draw the line, but I hope they understand our overall philosophy is that it is better to have this discussion out in the open, especially when the stakes are so high. I disagree strongly with how the President spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open."