There’s a potential civil war brewing at Facebook.
Conservative employees are up in arms against what they argue is an “intolerant” liberal culture at the tech company.
A private group on the famously liberal Silicon Valley firm’s internal message board has been set up in protest with more than 160 members, posters are appearing around campus, and Facebook employees are having heated internal debates around the subject, as Business Insider detailed in a recent report.
“‘I disagree of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’ We need to channel Voltaire more in the company today,” one employee wrote to his colleagues. “So many viewpoints are summarily dismissed as *ist/*obe because they are not understood.”
The tense atmosphere highlights how even famously liberal Silicon Valley has become sucked into the vortex of America’s chaotic national politics, as companies like Facebook grapple with their political role and influence on the public stage and within the workplace.
“You can…see the dripping of hate off them,” one Facebook employee told Business Insider, describing the way “liberal” employees behave around their outspoken conservative colleagues.
The aggrieved Facebook employees complain that the company doesn’t tolerate non-liberal viewpoints, and many conservatives believe they need to stay “in the closet” about their political beliefs.
The Facebook employee also said conservatives at the company believe they can be fired more easily than others, citing ousted Oculus founder Palmer Luckey as an example: “If you’re conservative at Facebook, you’re already walking on eggshells. You will get fired quicker than if you’re a liberal in seconds.”
Reached for comment, Facebook spokesperson Bertie Thomson referred Business Insider to a statement issued Tuesday: “On Day 1 of Facebook’s new hire orientation in Menlo Park, everyone hears from our Chief Diversity Officer about the importance of diversity and how to have respectful conversations with people who have different viewpoints.”
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