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Facebook fires employee in Black Lives Matter dispute

In a post that has since gone viral, Tim Aveni quit his job as a Facebook engineer after CEO Mark Zuckerberg refused to take action on a post from President Trump. He spoke exclusively about his decision with CNN's Donie O'Sullivan.

Posted: Jun 15, 2020 3:21 AM
Updated: Jun 15, 2020 3:21 AM

Facebook fired an employee who publicly criticized a coworker on Twitter for not adding a statement of support for Black Lives Matter to documentation on an open-source project they were working on.

Brandon Dail, a user interface engineer in Seattle, Washington, announced on Friday in a tweet that he was let go for calling out a colleague on Twitter.

Dail had been among a group of Facebook employees who have been tweeting criticism of Facebook since the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to take no action against President Donald Trump's posts on the platform.

Dail had been with the company for more than two years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"In the interest of transparency, I was let go for calling out an employee's inaction here on Twitter. I stand by what I said. They didn't give me a chance to quit," he tweeted on Friday.

The former Facebook employee stated on Twitter that he asked a coworker, a front-end engineer who supervises Recoil, an open-source project by Facebook, to "add a #BlackLivesMatter banner" as React, another Facebook open-source project, is said to have done. He then called out the coworker for messaging him privately on the matter rather than replying publicly -- leading to his termination from Facebook.

"I'm not claiming I was unjustly terminated. I was fed up with Facebook, the harm it's doing, and the silence of those complicit (including myself)," Dail tweeted Friday.

Dail did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed Dail's version of events that he was fired for calling out a fellow employee in a tweet.

This incident follows a number of incidents in which employees at Facebook have publicly spoken out against CEO Mark Zuckerberg's inaction regarding controversial remarks posted by President Donald Trump.

One of Trump's posts contained the racially charged phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts", in reference to demonstrations taking place in Minneapolis, following George Floyd's killing on May 25. Although, Trump later confirmed knowing the history of the phrase, he opted to keep the original remarks up on both Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter affixed a warning label, or what it calls a "public interest notice," on the tweet, stating that the account had violated its rule against glorifying violence. Facebook, however, has left the post on its platform as is.

In a company-wide town hall on June 2, Zuckerberg attempted to explain his positioning on why Facebook wouldn't take action on Trump's post, citing free speech. Zuckerberg's stance has led to public outcry, with some employees even resigning from the company as a result.

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