Facebook was walking on incredibly thin ice late last year after allegations that the company’s poor efforts to police fake news stories helped influence the US presidential election. Now, a report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that Facebook is taking a hard line against anything resembling racist or sexist banter — at least when it comes to its employees.
The report, which sites multiple unnamed sources, claims that Facebook shut down an internal employee Facebook group called “FB Anon.” The anonymous message board became the go-to stop for Facebook employees who were backing Donald Trump, but the report says that it quickly devolved into a debate over gender and racial equality.
Zuckerberg allegedly decided to axe the message board due to “harassing messages,” and Facebook’s human resources head Lori Goler said in a statment that “The FB Anon internal Facebook group violated our terms of service, which require people who use Facebook (including our employees) to use an authentic identity on our platform.”
This report comes just days after fellow tech giant Google fired an employee for distributing a lengthy memo detailing what he perceived as unwarranted diversity initiatives which he said was holding the company back.
Facebook has always had to walk a very fine line between fostering open discussion and preventing hate speech and discriminatory views from gaining a foothold on its services. The company regularly stumbles — either failing to police content which clearly crosses the line, or shutting down constructive discussions due to a few bad apples who spoiled it for everyone — and it seems those struggles extend to its own internal culture as well.