Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has sent out an official memo to employees ordering them to stop crossing out the term "Black Lives Matter" on the walls of the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Some of Facebook's employees have apparently been striking out the slogan "Black Lives Matter" and replacing it with "All Lives Matter". After realising that this had been done more than once, Zuckerberg addressed the issue head-on, reprimanding the act as "malicious" and "unacceptable".
Started in 2013, Black Lives Matter is a campaign formed by the black American community to battle racial discrimination and police brutality that have caused much torment and dissension in America in recent years.
The internal memo, obtained by Gizmodo, was sent out following a verbal warning that Zuckerberg gave his employees in a Q&A session last week. In the memo, Zuckerberg said: "We've never had rules around what people can write on our walls — we expect everybody to treat each other with respect. Regardless of the content or location, crossing out something means silencing speech, or that one person's speech is more important than another's."
Given the seriousness of the matter, Zuckerberg also said that the matter would now be investigated. "This has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community," he added.
Facebook allows its employees to scribble on its infamous signature wall at its Menlo Park headquarters in California. Employees are encouraged to pen down and express themselves in any way they desire, be it with words or little etchings.
Diversity is perhaps one of the most common issues to afflict the Silicon Valley tech giants. Facebook currently has only 2% black employees, despite its various collaborative initiatives to improve diversity within its organisation. Zuckerberg's memo, however, indicates that the social media giant may be serious in implementing changes to its recruitment procedures in the future, to ensure a more diverse and well-knit workplace community.
Zuckerberg has encouraged his staff to attend an upcoming town hall meeting that hopes to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.