Facebook kills anonymous online chat platform used to 'harass' employees

Internet giants taking no-tolerance approach

Mark Zuckerberg slams neo-Nazis and 'polarization' after Charlottesville

Facebook shuttered an anonymous internal forum late a year ago after people using the message board posted sexist and racist comments, according to two reports on Wednesday. According to Business Insider, after Facebook made a decision to shut down the group, an anime character and the words "Silenced, but not silent" started appearing across the company campus. The offensive posts included some that said Facebook lowered the bar for female engineers in order to flatter its diversity numbers, one person told The Journal.

While all employees use a work version of Facebook's website to communicate with one another, several people said that the anonymous group gave many the opportunity to vent their complaints or concerns about company policy and office culture more candidly. The forum, called FB Anon, was shut down last December.

International Business Times has reached out to Facebook for comment. Facebook staffer Lori Goler said that the group was shut down because it violated Facebook's rules about using an authentic identity for your account, while CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the forum was home to harassing messages. In the memo, which was released by Motherboard, Damore said women are not represented at higher levels in tech companies compared to men because of automatic biological differences.

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"There is no place for hate in our community", Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook Wednesday. Zuckerberg specifically mentioned the events in Virginia.

Referring directly to the events in Virginia - where one young woman was killed by a vehicle driven at anti-fascist demonstrators - he added: "With the potential for more rallies, we're watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm". Approximately a month after the 2016 USA elections, Facebook management took down an internal group for Facebook employees called "FB Anon" as part of a larger crackdown on anonymous posting. "But we must also recognize that on the internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with". We aren't born with such extreme views.

It would be easy to think that the tech companies simply wanted to be seen to be doing something about hate speech whilst at the same time, limiting their responsibility to deal with the problem systematically. Debate is part of a healthy society.

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His Facebook post appeared to also take aim at President Trump's controversial statements casting blame for the violence in Charlottesville on "both sides".

Zuckerberg said the company is "watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm".

"The last few days have been hard to process", Zuckerberg wrote. These internal challenges also mirror the difficulties the platform faces when it comes to policing speech for its two billion users.

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