Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook account - Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / Si / SIPA

The clash between Twitter and Donald Trump splashes Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has refused to sanction controversial remarks by the president and is publicly disavowed by employees - a rare phenomenon in Silicon Valley. "Mark is wrong, and I'm going to try to make him change my mind by making a lot of noise," tweeted Ryan Freitas, design director for Facebook's News Feed, on Sunday. He said that he had gathered around fifty people of the same opinion.

Originally, two unprecedented Twitter interventions last week. The platform first reported two tweets from the US president on postal voting with the mention "check the facts". Mark Zuckerberg then reminded Fox News that the platforms, he said, should not play the role of "arbiters of truth online" - an interview retweeted by Donald Trump.

In the name of freedom of expression

Then, on Friday Twitter masked another message from the White House tenant, about the clashes in Minneapolis after the death of a black man, George Floyd, for violating the network's directives on the apology of violence. "The looting will be immediately greeted by bullets," said Donald Trump of the protests that escalate into riots. These comments also appear on Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg decided to leave them visible, "after hesitating all day".

In a post on his profile, he said that he condemned as "personal" the "divisive and inflammatory rhetoric" of the president, but did not intend to delete the messages, in the name of freedom of expression and the public interest in get informed. "I know that many people are unhappy (...), but our position is to facilitate as much expression as possible, unless there is an imminent risk of harm to others or of dangers as described in our regulations". Twitter and Facebook have set up systems to combat dangerous content (hate speech, harassment, etc.) and against disinformation.

"Doing nothing is not acceptable"

But Facebook exempts political figures and candidates from the essential of these measures. "I don't know what to do, but I know that doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a Facebook employee who totally disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence, ”tweeted Jason Stirman, the company's research and development manager, on Saturday. gone through Twitter. “I'm not alone at Facebook. There is no neutral stance on racism, "he added.

To make matters worse, the American press revealed on Sunday that Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump met on Friday by telephone. The conversation was "productive," according to anonymous sources on the specialty site Axios and the CNBC channel. It has neither been confirmed nor denied by the parties concerned.

A so-called "neutrality"

The phone call with the president discredits the idea of ​​a so-called "neutrality", according to Evelyn Douek, researcher at Harvard Law School. Like other experts, she questions the ability of Facebook's all-new “Supreme Court” to intervene.

The network giant is directly affected by Donald Trump's counterattack against Twitter. The President signed a decree attacking a fundamental law of the American Internet, Section 230, on Thursday, which offers digital platforms immunity from any legal action related to content published by third parties. And gives them the freedom to intervene as they please to police the exchanges.

By the Web

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