Oct 28, 2020
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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is giving all U.S. employees the entire week of Thanksgiving off, according to an internal message he sent on Wednesday night. The move is meant to reward employees for the work they’ve done during “unprecedented challenges,” and could help bolster morale after the company’s moderation policies have come under fire from some employees.
The note says that all employees around the world will get an extra three days off — either Monday Nov. 23 through Wed. Nov 25, or other days for particular teams or geographical regions.
“The idea here is to give as many people as possible a break. I hope you can disconnect and take the time to rest and recharge before the final push of the year,” Zuckerberg wrote.
Facebook has faced an unusually tumultuous time internally. All employees have been working remotely since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, and the company has instituted a wide range of policies around misinformation and political posts over a politically charged summer and in the run-up to the U.S. elections next Tuesday.
In May and June, employees grew upset after Facebook decided not to remove a post from President Trump saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to widespread protests over the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. Facebook later restricted how and where employees could express political views on internal message boards.
More recently, the company has rolled out a string of new policies related to the election, but has sometimes struggled to enforce them consistently, or to explain that enforcement to outsiders. For instance, earlier this week, the company allowed the Trump campaign to set up an ad implying he had won the election, in direct contradiction to Facebook’s rules, then justified the decision by saying that the precise wording of the ad — “President Trump is STILL your president” — would be true until January even if Trump loses.
Earlier on Wednesday, Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to defend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields online platforms like Facebook from liability over material their users post, and allows them to moderate content without fear of legal retribution.
Facebook reports Q3 earnings on Thursday.