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."
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."
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.
Silicon Valley already has a big diversity problem.
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.