After weeks of internal and external pressure on the embattled company, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised sweeping changes to the social network's internal policies on threats of state use of force and voter suppression.
Zuckerberg's remarks came days after he held a tense town hall with Facebook staff. Many expressed frustration about Facebook's decision not to take action against Trump's tweets reported by rival Twitter sites as breaking their own rules.
Some of those posts related to mail-in ballots, while Twitter branded another containing the expression "when the robbery begins, the shooting starts" for flouting its rules on glorifying crime.
Your lives matter
The co-founder and CEO of Facebook also addressed protests that erupted across the U.S. and around the world after George Floyd 's death.
"To members of our Black community: I stand with you-your lives matter. Black lives matter," he wrote.
While noting that he believes the company's platforms, including WhatsApp and Instagram, Zuckerberg said Facebook will "play a positive role" in overcoming racial injustice in the U.S. and around the globe.
Facebook would review its policies on all those fronts, Zuckerberg said, preparing directly for "instances of disproportionate use of police or state force" and "political unrest." The social media platform will also include "the complexities of voting amid a pandemic."
Previously Zuckerberg said Facebook will take down every post that incites violence - regardless of who wrote it - rather than putting some warning mark on it. He said Facebook's rules currently do not include state use of force. States are legally permitted to use force, according to a transcript published by Recode.
Facebook to focus on voter engagement, radical justice
Zuckerberg said that Facebook is now considering approaches to problematic content posted on the social media platform.
"I know many of you think we should have labeled the President's posts in some way last week," he said. He clarified that he started internal discussions on how to approach those questions in the future.
While Facebook will continue to stand for giving everyone a voice and erring on the side of free expression in these difficult times, Zuckerberg "committed" to making sure Facebook will also fight for voter engagement and racial justice.
Zuckerberg, however, stopped short of ensuring imminent changes to Facebook's rules. He clarified that they are looking at all of these areas, the company might not be making improvements in all of them.
Is Zuckerberg sincere?
Zuckerberg was less committed to any real action, one Facebook employee said. However, the company CEO made several promises that he said could help "heal the divisions in our society." In recent years, critics have been railing on Facebook for its algorithmic spreading of misinformation, encouraging genocide, and failing to protect personal information to its users.
"It's encouraging to see Zuck post this, but I'll maintain my skepticism until some sort of action is taken by the company," a Facebook employee told BuzzFeed News. "I do think Zuck is being sincere in all this, I just don't know if he will be convinced to do anything."