- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2016

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to fend off employees during the U.S. presidential campaign who wanted to censor billionaire Donald Trump’s posts due to alleged hate speech.

Controversial statements by Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign in December forced Mr. Zuckerberg to quash a mini-mutiny of staffers who threatened to quit if they could not delete the candidate’s posts. Sources close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal that some of the comments in question involved a plan to ban Muslim immigrants while the U.S. determines how to best combat the Islamic State group.

A Facebook spokeswoman did not address the specifics of the newspaper’s story, but did speak on the guidelines used to moderate posts, saying the “context” of a quote is considered before posts are removed.

“That context can include the value of political discourse,” the spokeswoman said, The Journal reported Friday. “Many people are voicing opinions about this particular content and it has become an important part of the conversation around who the next U.S. president will be.”

The Journal’s story coincides with another ideological brush fire Mr. Zuckerberg had to extinguish over Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

“I want to quickly address the questions and concerns about Peter Thiel as a board member and Trump supporter,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote in an internal message to employees, Forbes reported Wednesday. “We can’t create a culture that says it cares about diversity and then excludes almost half the country because they back a political candidate. There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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