Aug 16, 2017

Zuckerberg: “The last few days have been hard to process”

Eric Risberg / AP

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that his company has taken steps to curb hate speech on its platform after a white nationalist protest that led to violence. Zuckerberg said that the site has "always taken down any post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville."

He added: "With the potential for more rallies, we're watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm. We won't always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we'll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe."

Key context: Zuckerberg's statement — which included a broader condemnation of bigotry — comes as tech firms are under new pressure to deal with extremist content. Facebook has been criticized for how long it took to delete an event page associated with the Charlottesville protests. It has since banned an account associated with white nationalism.

Our thought bubble: These are Zuckerberg's first comments on the weekend's events in Virginia. That's notable because he has spent the better part of this year working to better understand what binds American communities. He's weighed in on the president's efforts to bar trans service members and remove the U.S. from the Paris accords, but he was silent for days on some of the tensest 72 hours in America since the week of the election.

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.