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Facebook tried to stop employees from discussing President Trump and the violence that took place inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, according to reports.
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As employees prepared to prevent misinformation on Facebook related to the day's events, they voiced concerns on an internal message board, and the company apparently then froze some of their comments on that work platform, sources told BuzzFeed tech reporter Ryan Mac.
Facebook did not immediately respond to an inquiry from FOX Business.
"Donald Trump has directly incited a terror attack on Capitol Hill," one employee wrote on the company's internal messaging board, according to BuzzFeed. "We need to take down his account right now. This is not a moment for half measures."
The Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
Facebook uses Workplace, an internal social network, so its workers can communicate and debate ideas with other employees.
The tech giant recently cracked down on that speech in May, however, when employees started voicing objections to a post from Trump that said, "…When the looting starts, the shooting starts," in response to riots that took place after the May 25th death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
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Facebook locked Trump from his account late Wednesday after removing a video he posted on the platform expressing "love" for the pro-Trump protesters in Washington, D.C. who stormed the Capitol, telling them to "go home in peace."
"We've assessed two policy violations against President Trump's Page which will result in a 24-hour feature block, meaning he will lose the ability to post on the platform during that time," Facebook tweeted Wednesday night.
But before Facebook blocked the president's account, one employee suggested in a Workplace post that the website go further than removing the video, and others were quick to agree, according to BuzzFeed.
"Can we get some courage and actual action from leadership in response to this behavior? Your silence is disappointing at the least and criminal at worst," one employee wrote to the company's leaders.
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"We should be better," another said.
A third employee said that as "great as it is" to work at Facebook, the company's slow decision-making that allows for "the spread of disinformation is a failure not only for us as a company" but for employees, as well.
Facebook responded to concerns saying it was "dealing with the ongoing situation" and was "going to turn off comments on this thread for now," BuzzFeed reported.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a statement to employees later that said he was "personally saddened by this mob violence — which is exactly what it is," according to BuzzFeed.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
“The peaceful transition of power is critical to our democracy, and we need our political leaders to lead by example and put the nation first," he wrote.
The platform has also been removing posts that express "praise and support of the storming of the US Capitol," make calls to bring weapons to places "across the U.S.," incitement of violent events at the Capitol and so on. It is also adding labels to posts about the 2020 presidential election across Facebook and Instagram.
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The tech giant previously has come under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and inciting violence online by not taking swift-enough action against posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook in October announced new rules to crack down on QAnon and "Militarized Social Movements" and said it would ban pages and groups relating to such material.
The move came after Facebook came under fire after it was accused of "shirking" its responsibility to remove pages and accounts belonging to those who coordinated and recruited others for what resulted in deadly shootings in Kenosha, Wis., at the end of August, according to a federal lawsuit.
Kyle Rittenhouse, left, with backwards cap, walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., with another armed civilian. The 17-year-old is accused of fatally shooting two protesters during a protest. (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File)
The media giant failed to suspend accounts and events that were created through the site, such as the “Boogaloo Bois” and “Kenosha Guard” pages, despite receiving more than 400 reports in some cases, according to the suit.
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Approximately 66% of the Facebook events reported to website administrators that day were regarding the Kenosha Guard’s event page, the suit states.
Zuckerberg admitted at the end of August that Facebook made a mistake in not removing Kenosha Guard’s page, despite the fact that it violated Facebook’s policies and had been flagged by "a bunch of people."
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"It was largely an operational mistake," Zuckerberg said in a video shared to the site. "The contractors, the reviewers, who the initial complaints were funneled to, didn’t, basically didn’t pick this up."
Fox News' Stephanie Pagnones contributed to this report.
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