Facebook warns staff to avoid wearing company-branded clothing, for safety reasons
MENLO PARK, Calif. - Facebook has reportedly sent out an internal memo about employee safety, warning staff to avoid wearing or carrying company branded items in public.
According to Business Insider, the Menlo Parked-based social media company sent out the memo on Monday, stating, "In light of recent events, and to err on the side of caution, global security is encouraging everyone to avoid wearing or carrying Facebook-branded items at this time."
KTVU reached out to Facebook for a comment but did not receive an immediate response to our request.
The company's warning followed its unprecedented move to ban Donald Trump from its platforms, after last Wednesday’s deadly siege at the Capitol.
Following an initial block on Donald Trump’s account on the day of the attack, the company then moved to lock the president's Facebook and Instagram accounts "for at least the next two weeks" and possibly indefinitely."
FILE - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a 'Conversation on Free Expression" in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019.
On Thursday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post, "We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great."
Zuckerberg also wrote that Facebook had removed the statements the president made in a video during the Capitol assault, which many have said continued to incite the violence as he told the rioters, "We love you; you're very special." While he called on the angry mob to "go home," he stopped short of condemning their actions and instead addressed their cause and the false conspiracy theory that he won the election. "I know your pain, I know you're hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us," he told the rioters.
WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 2021/01/06: Protesters seen all over Capitol building where pro-Trump supporters riot and breached the Capitol. Rioters broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow th
"His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world," Zuckerberg said in his post, adding, "We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect -- and likely their intent -- would be to provoke further violence."
On Friday, Twitter followed suit and banned the president’s account, citing "the risk of further incitement of violence." Twitch and Snapchat have also disabled Trump’s accounts.
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Facebook's concerns about employee safety stem from the backlash the social media companies have received since blocking the president from their platforms.
Many conservatives and pro-Trump activists have blasted the companies and lashed out saying their rights to free speech were under attack.
A large police presence stationed itself outside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters Monday morning, amid reports that Trump supporters would be there for a rally to protest Twitter's ban on the president's account. The demonstration failed to materialize with only a few protesters, and even a few more counter-protesters showing up.
On Friday, the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted, "Free Speech Is Under Attack! Censorship is happening like NEVER before! Don’t let them silence us. Sign up at http://DONJR.COM to stay connected!"
Many legal and tech experts rejected that arguments that the moves to block Donald Trump violated free speech rights, noting the First Amendment refers to government entities and that private companies have a right to ban any speech they want.
"It’s not like the platforms’ rules are draconian. People don’t get caught in violations unless they do something clearly against the rules," explained David Kaye, a University of California-Irvine law professor and former U.N. special rapporteur on free speech. He added that it's not only individual citizens who have free speech rights. "The companies have their freedom of speech, too."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.