Mark Zuckerberg condemns defacement of 'Black Lives Matter' on company wall.

Mark Zuckerberg knows a lot about walls.

The guy basically invented them. Or at least the modern version of them. Facebook's "wall" (which was renamed the "timeline" a couple years ago) has, for years, been the primary way to post articles, videos, and birthday messages to those you can't be bothered to text.

But Facebook has another "wall" you might not know about. It's one at their corporate office in Menlo Park, California.

There, employees at the sprawling corporate campus are invited to simply "Write Something."


Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Recently, Zuckerberg had to clamp down on a disturbing trend he's seen on The Facebook Wall. One that almost poetically exemplifies a big issue haunting Silicon Valley.

Employees have been crossing out "Black Lives Matter" inscriptions on the wall and replacing them with "All Lives Matter."

In an internal Facebook post obtained by Gizmodo, Zuckerberg strongly condemned those defacing the racial equality slogan:

"Despite my clear communication at Q&A last week that this was unacceptable, and messages from several other leaders across the company, this has happened again. I was already very disappointed by this behavior before, but after my communication I now consider this malicious as well."

Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images.

Zuckerberg went on to say that the "All Lives Matter" refrain, which has been used to counter the Black Lives Matter movement, is a flawed ideology that misses the point.

"There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism. 'Black lives matter' doesn't mean that other lives don't — it's simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve."

A strong condemnation from Zuckerberg, one of Silicon Valley's biggest stars, is a good thing.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Silicon Valley already has a big diversity problem.

Yahoo reported in June 2014 that their company's racial makeup was only 2% black and 4% Hispanic. And Facebook itself reported the exact same numbers a year later.

Those statistics aren't going to get any better if Silicon Valley doesn't feel like a safe place for the black community; and as of right now, crossing out "Black Lives Matter" in favor of "All Lives Matter" isn't just an act of snarky vandalism.

It's, as Zuckerberg himself stated, malicious.

"Crossing out something means silencing speech," Zuckerberg said.

And it's true. The effort to silence the Black Lives Matter movement can come in many forms. Whether it's something as obvious as a presidential candidate telling a protester to "get the hell out" or as subtle as crossing out some words, silencing speech will never get us anywhere.

Part of Facebook's mission statement is to "make the world more open and connected." That's hard to do if you're not listening to the people around you.

It's good to see the founder staying true to a more open world.

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less