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Facebook employees crossed out 'black lives matter' slogan on office wall

Mark Zuckerberg has criticised employees for scratching out the phrase from a wall on the company’s Menlo Park building.

Protesters hold up signs during a demonstration against the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in New York City and Ferguson.
Protesters hold up signs during a demonstration against the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in New York City and Ferguson.
Image: AP

FACEBOOK CEO MARK Zuckerberg has admonished employees for replacing the phrase “black lives matter” with “all lives matter” on a wall of the company’s Californian headquarters.

Zuckerberg said employees had continued to change the message despite his “clear communication” at a meeting the week before that such actions were “unacceptable”.

“I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before, but after my communication I now consider this malicious as well,” he wrote in an internal Facebook post obtained by Gizmodo.

“‘Black lives matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t – it’s simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve,” he said.

Zuckerberg said that, while the company has “never had rules” around what staff can write on the walls of its Menlo Park office, it expects “everybody to treat each other with respect”.

He said the behaviour “has been a deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community and really the entire Facebook community”.

The company is investigating the incidents.

‘Educate themselves’

The “black lives matter” slogan originates from protests following the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot dead African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

The phrase has come to represent an international activist movement mobilising against police violence, racial profiling and inequality.

In his memo, Zuckerberg encouraged employees to take part in a town hall meeting next month “to educate themselves about what theBlack Lives Matter movement is about”.

The last Facebook diversity report noted that only 2% of its US employees are black.

The company declined to comment on Zuckerberg’s message.

Read: Facebook’s plans to take over the world are taking two steps forward

Read: Zuckerberg has distanced himself from ‘deeply upsetting’ comments about India

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Catherine Healy

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