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Facebook bans political images from internal network

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • Facebook has enforced a new policy prohibiting its employees from using political images as their profile pictures on their internal social network.
  • According to company spokesperson Pamela Austin, the new ruling was made “to make sure our people have both voice and choice.”
  • The new guidelines were made following reports that company workers have criticized its Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the social media giant’s handling of President Donald Trump’s posts.

Facebook enforced restrictions on its internal social network by prohibiting its workers from using political images as their profile pictures.

The company said that the new policy, which was part of several guidelines issued this week, aimed to manage the employees’ standing on political issues and the like.

“We deeply value expression, open discussion, and a company culture built on respect and inclusivity,” Facebook spokeswoman Pamela Austin said in a statement.

“What we have heard from our employees is that they want the option to join debates on social and political issues rather than see them unexpectedly in their work feed,” Austin continued.

Austin added that the changes were made to “make sure our people have both voice and choice.”

According to Facebook, employees are now directed to use either their own photo or their initials as their workplace profile picture. Workers could no longer display other images such as political candidates or other social causes like the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

But the company confirmed that workers could still edit their profile pictures using pre-approved frames which include a BLM-themed frame.

The company has also instructed its workers to moderate workplace discussion groups that focus on politics, social, and other relevant issues outside of their jobs.

In addition, Facebook also broadened its stand against harassment, prohibiting any “insensitive, degrading, or derogatory” content that could yield an unpleasant working environment.

The company’s new policy came in after reports from BuzzFeed News and The Verge claimed that Facebook employees were criticizing CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Workers were reportedly dismayed about how the company manages social issues and President Donald Trump’s provocative posts.

Facebook is also facing the hardship of hunting down sources of misinformation and propaganda weeks before the presidential election. Earlier this month, the company announced several initiatives to address such issues, like suspending new political ads a week before the November 3rd election.

Source: New York Post

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