More than 100 Facebook employees have formed a group called FB’ers for Political Diversity to combat what they see as the tech giant’s obvious liberal bias.
Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, prompted the group’s creation last week by writing a post on Facebook’s internal message board titled “We Have a Problem With Political Diversity.”
“We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views,” Amerige wrote in the post, which was obtained by the New York Times. “We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology.”
Several employees have filed complaints with their managers, alleging that the group’s content is offensive to minority employees, but they’ve been informed the group does not violate the company’s guidelines.
Facebook banned a similar group that was formed by supporters of then-candidate Trump in December 2016. The group, “Facebook Anon,” was officially shut down for violating a company rule prohibiting the operation of anonymous accounts, but Business Insider reported that the group’s content “alarmed management.”
Amerige, who explicitly prohibits personal attacks in the group, said it was formed to create a space for employees to express political views that don’t conform to the company’s prevailing sentiment.
“We tear down posters welcoming Trump supporters. We regularly propose removing [tech investor Peter] Thiel from our board because he supported Trump,” Amerige wrote. “We’re quick to suggest firing people who turn out to be misunderstood, and even quicker to conclude our colleagues are bigots.”
Facebook, like many of its fellow Silicon Valley firms, has been criticized in recent months for appearing to censor conservative content on its platforms. Former senator John Kyl, a Republican from Arizona, is currently conducting an investigation into the allegations of anti-conservative bias.
In an appearance before Congress earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rebuffed allegations of such bias, arguing he wanted his company to serve as a “a platform for all ideas.”
Amerige, who joined Facebook in 2012, argued that the company’s internal culture must change in order to convince government officials that the platform is serving all Americans equally, regardless of political ideology.
“We are entrusted by a great part of the world to be impartial and transparent carriers of people’s stories, ideas and commentary,” Amerige wrote. “Congress doesn’t think we can do this. The president doesn’t think we can do this. And like them or not, we deserve that criticism.”