The Black Lives Matter movement seems to have an ally in philanthropist and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
NBC News has confirmed the internal memo posted internally for Facebook employees that was first reported by Gizmodo on Thursday.
In the memo, Zuckerberg called the actions by some employees of “crossing out ‘Black Lives Matter’ and writing ‘all lives matter'” on a Facebook (physical) wall disappointing.
“Despite my clear communication at Q&A last week that this was unacceptable, and messages from several other leaders from across the country, this has happened again,” Zuckerberg said in the memo. “I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before, but after my communication I now consider this malicious as well.”
Zuckerberg pointed out in the memo that the statement “Black Lives Matter” does not suggest that other lives do not matter, but that “the black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”
Zuckerberg’s response to what he described as speech silencing, comes at an interesting time for the tech community where African Americans are barely present within the tech workforce. According to reports, the number of African Americans in the tech industry is disappointing, with blacks making up only 4 percent of overall workers.
As a result, many companies, like Facebook, have invested resources in the area of diversity to show their commitment to representing the diverse communities for which they serve.
Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global diversity director, reiterated that comment in January of last year.
“For Facebook, diversity is imperative to our future growth,” she told USA Today. “If we don’t get it right, we risk losing relevance in an incredibly diverse world.”
Ironically, the Black Lives Mater movement was birthed via social media. Thanks to a Facebook post in 2013 using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, the movement was born.
From there, social media has facilitated greater connectivity for not only Black Lives Matter, but also student activism across campuses nationwide, as Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University explained to NBCBLK in November.
The incident at Facebook is being investigated, according to Zuckerberg’s post. They are also planning a company town hall meeting on March 4 to greater educate employees.