Zuckerberg’s Meta Acted to Quietly Quash Employee Workplace Discussions on Abortion in 2019 – Opinion

Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook, issued guidelines in 2019 barring employees from discussing abortion on their internal communication platform, Workplace.

The guidelines fall under Meta’s “Respectful Communication Policy,” which bars employees from posting “opinions or debates about abortion being right or wrong, availability or rights of abortion, and political, religious, and humanitarian views on the topic,” The Verge reported.

According to The Verge‘s review of the policy, Meta feared “an increased risk” that the company could be seen as a “hostile work environment.” In other words, they’re trying to avoid lawsuits occurring when employees start throwing things at each other over their abortion stances.

This policy doesn’t restrict Speech on Workplace about hot topics like trans rights or immigration. If you want to, you can even speak about Donald Trump! I’m guessing you’d better say bad things about him though, or you’ll probably be looking for work soon.

The discussion has heated up recently since the Supreme Court’s apparent decision to overturn Roe v WadeThis information was published.

Meta executives say that abortion conversations are as harmful as they sound. The Verge reported that Meta’s VP of HR Janelle Gale said at an all-hands meeting Thursday that abortion was the most divisive and reported topic:

She said that “even if people are respectful, and they’re attempting to be respectful about their view on abortion, it can still leave people feeling like they’re being targeted based on their gender or religion,” according to a recording of her comments obtained by The Verge. “It’s the one unique topic that kind of trips that line on a protected class pretty much in every instance.”

Newsbusters reports that Meta Head of Product Naomi Gleit wrote “employees were only allowed to discuss abortion at work ‘with a trusted colleague in a private setting (e.g. live, chat, etc.)’ and in a ‘listening session with a small group of up to 5 like-minded people to show solidarity.’”

This is the funniest bit of information in The Verge’s piece is this little nugget: During the aforementioned all-hands meeting, employees posted several times about the communication policy underneath the live stream, but the posts were RemovedAs the meeting went on. A great example of censors self-censoring. Priceless.

AP Photo/Wilfredo

The Verge also writes that a 10-year employee wrote that the policy had led her to feel a “strong sense of silence and isolation on Workplace.” She later reportedly explained that “the entire process of dealing with the Respectful Communication policy, being told why my post is violating, and crafting this new post has felt dehumanizing and dystopian.”

Snowflake, stop! You’re at the office. How about that instead of you spouting your political convictions on company time, you maybe, I don’t know… work?

Is the policy legally valid? This would indicate that the answer to your question is yes. Fortune

“As a general proposition, the First Amendment protects individuals only against government restrictions on speech,” says Len Niehoff, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School who teaches First Amendment law. “Private employers can, and often do, impose restrictions on what employees may say inside the workplace.”

It’s hard not to take some glee in all this. When one of the wokest and most censorious corporations on earth censors its own employees—the very folks they put in charge of censoring us on Facebook—it’s just farcical. It’s only made more so by the fact that the topic they’re censoring is one of the Left’s most holy causes. According to the old saying, what goes around will come around.

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