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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.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

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