Civil rights leaders rip Mark Zuckerberg after ‘incomprehensible’ meeting about Trump’s Facebook posts

A group of civil rights leaders say they’re “disappointed” and “stunned” following a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his recent decisions on posts by President Trump.

Zuckerberg hosted a call with civil rights leaders on Monday as the company faces growing controversy and an employee walkout over its a hands-off approach to Trump’s posts, including one in which he wrote “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” in reference to the Minneapolis protests over George Floyd’s death. Facebook also didn’t touch a post by Trump about mail-in voting that Twitter fact-checked.

After the meeting, leaders from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Color of Change released a statement blasting Zuckerberg, per Axios, saying they’re “disappointed and stunned by Mark’s incomprehensible explanations for allowing the Trump posts to remain up.”

The civil rights leaders go on to say Zuckerberg “did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump’s call for violence against protesters,” adding his inaction on Trump’s posts sets a “very dangerous precedent.”

Color of Change President Rashad Robinson also spoke in an interview with Bloomberg News about the meeting, saying that “I spent a lot of time, and my colleagues spent a lot of time, explaining to him why these things are a problem, and I think he just very much lacks the ability to understand it.”

Amid the controversy, Zuckerberg this week said he would donate $10 million to groups fighting for racial justice. But Robinson told Bloomberg, “saying Black Lives Matter, saying I’m going to give money, but having your policies actually hurt black people, people will know the difference.”

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Source:: The Week – Business


Facebook Employees Stage Virtual ‘Walkout’ to Protest the Platform’s Handling of Trump Posts

OAKLAND, Calif. — Facebook employees are using Twitter to register their frustration over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot.

While Twitter demoted and placed a warning on a tweet about the protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts,” Facebook has let it stand, with Zuckerberg laying out his reasoning in a Facebook post Friday.

“I know many people are upset that we’ve left the President’s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Trump’s comment evoked the civil-rights era by borrowing a phrase used in 1967 by Miami’s police chief to warn of an aggressive police response to unrest in black neighborhoods.

On Monday, Facebook employees staged a virtual “walkout” to protest the company’s decision not to touch the Trump posts according to a report in the New York Times, which cited anonymous senior employees at Facebook. The Times report says “dozens” of Facebook workers “took the day off by logging into Facebook’s systems and requesting time off to support protesters across the country.”

“I work at Facebook and I am not proud of how we’re showing up. The majority of coworkers I’ve spoken to feel the same way. We are making our voice heard,” tweeted Jason Toff, a director of product management at Facebook who’s been at the company for a year.

Toff, who has a verified Twitter account, had 131,400 “likes” and thousands of retweets of his comment. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday.

“I don’t know what to do, but I know doing nothing is not acceptable. I’m a FB employee that completely disagrees with Mark’s decision to do nothing about Trump’s recent posts, which clearly incite violence. I’m not alone inside of FB. There isn’t a neutral position on racism,” tweeted another employee, design manager Jason Stirman.

Stirman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Sara Zhang, a product designer at the company, tweeted that Facebook’s “decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. The policy pigeon holes us into addressing harmful user-facing content in two ways: keep content up or take it down.”

“I believe …read more

Source:: Time – Business


Coronavirus shuts down two Salt Lake liquor stores

Bryce Cazier was charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Police say the incident happened at the State Liquor Store at 1688 N. State in Orem.

Deseret News archives

SALT LAKE CITY — Two state liquor stores closed Monday because an employee who worked at both locations tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The outlets at 205 W. 400 South and 1255 W. North Temple will remain closed until a professional sanitation and disinfection is completed by an independent company, according to the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. A reopening date is not set.

The DABC will continue to limit the number of customers in stores and maintain social distancing guidelines. Employees will continue to wear masks and disinfect checkout counters after transactions. The agency also asked customers to wear masks inside the stores.

All other Utah liquor and wine stores now open at 11 a.m and close at 7 p.m.

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Source:: Deseret News – Business News


$120 million in new LEED certified buildings coming to Wasatch Front

St. John Properties on Thursday announced it is making a $120 million investment in LEED certified buildings in two separate projects: Beltway West in Taylorsville, above, and Spring Pointe Exchange in Springville. The buildings use 39% less energy and are 35% lower in the emissions they produce.

St. John Properties on Thursday announced it is making a $120 million investment in LEED certified buildings in two separate projects: Beltway West in Taylorsville, above, and Spring Pointe Exchange in Springville. The buildings use 39% less energy and are 35% lower in the emissions they produce. | St. John Properties

St. John Properties announces 2 new projects

SALT LAKE CITY — They use 39% less energy, 12% less water and have 35% fewer emissions — and $120 million worth of these LEED-certified buildings are coming to the Wasatch Front, bringing more jobs amid uncertain times.

St. John Properties, the nation’s third top constructor of LEED buildings, recently announced it is planning two new projects for the Wasatch Front: Beltway West in Taylorsville and Spring Pointe Exchange in Springville.

“If people who have capital don’t have confidence in where they are going to invest, these things don’t happen,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said during a videoconference on the announcement.

He added what Utah has done as a state is instill confidence.

“We have tried to take the weeds out of the ditch bank that slows commerce,” Herbert said. “The confidence we have is the hallmark of what makes America great, what makes Utah great.”

The real estate development company has invested over a half-billion dollars in Utah, beginning with its Valley Grove project in Pleasant Grove that is set to expand with a hotel, bank and other commercial developments.

Daniel Thomas said six years ago he was doing research on major markets around the country to become host for the company’s regional offices, specifically eyeing the state of the economy, quality of living and the vibrancy of the workforce. At that time as in subsequent years, Forbes has ranked Utah the best state in the nation for doing business.

At the conclusion of his probe, he said, he told the company’s founder and chairman, Edward St. John: “Pack your bags, we’re going to Utah.”

Thomas, the company’s Utah regional partner, said the original acquisition of a 21-acre parcel in Pleasant Grove has grown four-fold to 85 acres.

St. John Properties has 71 LEED-certified projects in its portfolio, and within a few years hopes to reach 100 in a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

“When we talk about some of the challenges in Utah, air quality rises to the top of the list,” Thomas said.

Beltway West will occupy 19.5 acres and feature five office buildings, including …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News