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Facebook Outlines New Employee Communication Rules Due to 'Tense' Conversations

The pandemic and its associated work-from-home policies have resulted in more heated debates.

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed a new set of employee principles to act as a guide for debates and conversations within the Workplace, reported CNBC. The changes were made to address “a lot of very tense conversations happening out in the world,” according to company spokesman Joe OsborneThe specific changes will be highlighted by the company next week, the spokesman added. 

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“We deeply value expression and open discussion. What we’ve heard from our employees is that they want the option to join debates on social and political issues rather than see them unexpectedly in their work feed,” Osborne said in a statement acquired by CNBC.

“We’re updating our employee policies and work tools to ensure our culture remains respectful and inclusive."

Zuckerberg added that the new principles will guarantee that all employees feel supported at work, particularly the company’s Black community. They will achieve this by strengthening Facebook’s harassment policy with additional protections offered for underrepresented employees. 

The company said it would also determine which parts of Workplace can be used to discuss social and political issues so that employees do not have to deal with social matters during their daily work. Finally, the new guidelines require that employees communicate with professionalism and get involved in all debates in a respectful manner.

Just last week, Google took on a similar initiative. The firm asked employees to take a more active role in moderating internal message boards, according to documents obtained by CNBC.

This is because the firm witnessed an increase in posts flagged for racism or abuse on its message boards that were attributed to the fact that employees working from home were sharing more posts, leading to a rise of “tough global conversations.” As such, Google sought to train its platform moderators to learn to make sure conversations stay “inclusive” and in line with the firm's charters.

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