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Images: Accountable Tech

A new ad campaign is using CEO Mark Zuckerberg's own words to encourage Facebook employees to push their company to do a better job of keeping harmful content off its platforms.

What's happening: The targeted ads went live today on Facebook and come from newly launched Accountable Tech, which is spending "five figures" on the effort, Axios has learned. The campaign follows yesterday's employee walkout and rising internal dissent over Facebook's handling of President Trump's tweets.

Details: The ads are targeted to people who list Facebook as their employer, primarily in cities that are home to the bulk of Facebook's workforce: Menlo Park, California; Austin; Washington, D.C.; and New York.

  • Accountable Tech is a project led by Nicole Gill, a political campaigner and founder of the 2017 Tax March, and Jesse Lehrich, a former foreign policy spokesman for Hilary Clinton's campaign.

What they're saying: Lehrich told Axios, "It's been inspiring to see Facebook employees stand up for what they believe in, and speak truth to power at this critical moment in American history — something Mark Zuckerberg refuses to do."

We applaud their courage and hope Facebook's leadership will find some of their own. The company's societal impact is incalculable, and so is the harm done when they betray their own stated values in order to protect profits."
— Jesse Lehrich

The big picture: The move comes as Facebook is facing increased scrutiny over how it handles speech on its platform, especially false and inflammatory posts from politicians.

  • Last night, civil rights leaders blasted Facebook following a meeting with Zuckerberg, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and other company officials.
  • A number of employees have posted publicly opposing Facebook's decision to leave up posts from President Trump that many saw as a call for violence. And on Tuesday, at least one worker resigned over the issue.
  • Zuckerberg is slated to hold a town hall with employees today to discuss the concerns.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Sep 9, 2020 - Technology

What Mark Zuckerberg wishes he'd done differently

Illustration: Axios on HBO

If he were starting Facebook all over again, Mark Zuckerberg says he would spend more time telling the world "what our principles are."

What he's saying: "I really used to believe that the product by itself was everything, right?" Zuckerberg told Axios' Mike Allen in a wide-ranging new interview for "Axios on HBO." "And that if we if we built a good product, it didn't matter how we communicated about what we did and how we explained the principles behind the service — people would love and would use the product...."

Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook's content moderation policies

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook's content moderation policies in an "Axios on HBO" interview, noting that the company proactively removed roughly 90% of hate speech content from April to June this year.

Driving the news: High-profile ad boycotts held over the summer pressured Facebook to act more forcefully against hate speech, although the efforts had little effect on the company's revenue.

Zuckerberg describes "tension" between data privacy and antitrust regulation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told "Axios on HBO" that calls for data privacy and antitrust regulation in tech are often at odds.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans have pushed for antitrust enforcement as a cure for any number of Big Tech ills, and Americans feel frustrated that they don't have more control over their personal data when using digital services.