back to article Facebook's cool with sharing the President's nonsense on its mega-platform – but don't you dare mention 'unionize' in its Workplace app

Facebook this week temporarily halted plans to roll out tools that would have allowed its Workplace customers to censor touchy topics, following a reported internal staff revolt. Workplace looks and operates like self-contained private instances of Facebook – with familiar features such as groups, instant messaging, and news …

  1. elDog

    Is Zuck angling for a US VP job? He's got the billions and lots of experience

    in how to manipulate people. Neither of which trump seems to have had.

    Given cheez-whiz (stable genius) gluttonous diet and bunker-mentality, perhaps zuck could be anointed in a few months. Not sure which patsy-pasty-faced ahole I'd rather have as leader of the "once free" world: pence, zuck, jared.

    I'm glad there are really infinite universes. Could someone give me a key to another where trump and johnson didn't win? (I know, I might like it either.)

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Is Zuck angling for a US VP job? He's got the billions and lots of experience

      Not sure if Zuck would quit his day job for VP that pays a lot less. On the other hand, he has a history of supporting Trump. <shrugs> Who know what lurks in the minds of men?

  2. C. P. Cosgrove

    Uh ?

    This is taking us back over 100years to the days of capitalism run wild in the USA. Carnegie would probably have approved. I know that trade unions in the US are regarded by many managers and proprietors as the leading edge of advanced left wing socialism but when the right to associate is enshrined in law ?

    Having said that, about 40 years ago I suffered a short period of unemployment. Having signed on at the local job centre I was sent to firm in a nearby town who were hiring drivers, that was the trade I had signed on as, and when I got there I found a dozen or so guys standing on the doorstep. The converstation went something like this -

    'Hi lads, whats up ?'

    'We are the company's drivers'

    'And . . .'

    'We asked for the TGWU (the main Transport union) to be recognised for negotiation . .'

    'Yes ?'

    'So they sacked us all !'

    Needless to say, as I was a member of the TGWU myself, I didn't cross the picket line and I didn't get an interview for the job.

    Chris Cosgrove

    1. Robert Grant

      Re: Uh ?

      > This is taking us back over 100years to the days of capitalism run wild in the USA

      Not it's not. Companies shouldn't have to subsidise unions by paying for their comms, for which there are infinite free platforms.

      What it's actually doing is taking us into 1984, where topics are censored at the digital watercooler. Much more insiduous.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    I assume Facebook has already tested this on their internal Workplace systems to help keep their employees non-unionized.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Testing

      Well, you probably can't use the term "non-unionized" either.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's 2020 people

    Who's still using Facebook, the right-wing hate platform?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's 2020 people

      If you judge Facebook as being a right wing hate platform be very careful about who your current friends are. You might very well end up being treated as an Alt-Right yourself just because you didn't agree with a minor point. Or that something that was radical lefty cool today suddenly becomes hate speech without any apparent reason. You then unwantingly become a target.

      This mob rule situation is becoming violent, anarchic and very explosive. There is no coherent model, no stated requests other than give me what you have without the hard work. We know what is wrong but what we need are valid propositions, not all this hate and violence.

      Supporting women is now considered hate speech and yet we all have mothers, how does that work.

      I feel that these new post modernists are responsable for more racism, segregation and hate that I have ever seen. They are bringing to light and enforcing our differences but in a negative manner, they are actually having the opposite effect. Up until today we have not yet seen one positive outcome, everything is just degrading into a pool of violence. Why is no one standing up and providing a clear statement about what needs to be truly done in order to improve people life's. Everything is kept vague intentionally, or unintionally because no one has any real idea on how to resolve things. Just shouting I Hate The World will not resolve anything other than to appease some form of moral requirement to pretend to be with the cause, but that doesn't help those in need, it only helps the media and the Twitters of this world. The media needs a monster...

      This whole movement will lead us to a totalinarist state, the signs are already there. Twitter removes people whose opinions don't conform, ie they are controlling who can speak, when we remove debate we lower the standard of intelligence. It pushes us backwards not forwards.

      When this movement starts to affect business, and it will, then the big players will start to put their machine into motion and it will become very ugly.

      We need discussion not childish whim.

      Ayn Rand understood this situation when she wrote "And Atlas Shrugged", we are currently there and it is extremely worrying.

      Why do you post as anonymous? You didn't mention which platform you prefer to Facebook, No one here will attack you or dox you for having a debate.

      Please explain yourself.

      1. intrigid

        Re: It's 2020 people

        I appreciate some of your sentiment, but your spelling and grammar, and your ability to organize coherent thought, is pretty brutal.

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    Please explain *yourself*

    "Supporting women is now considered hate speech" - no it isn't

    "Twitter removes people whose opinions don't conform" - some non-conforming opinions are removed, but for reasons rather more substantial (whether one agrees or not) than nonconformity.

    "Why do you post as anonymous?" - I dunno why they did, and it's of no importance to me. But I would point out that you have also posted as anonymous, so you surely you might have some insight?

    "Ayn Rand understood ... " no, she didn't. There's no indication in that execrable ouvre that she had much understanding of very much at all: not even how to write well.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please explain *yourself*

      Friend of the fatherless

      Fountain of happiness

      Lord if the swill-bucket!

      Oh how my souls is on fire when I gaze at thy

      Calm and commanding eye,

      Like the sun in the sky,

      Comrade Napoleon.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anything that has a racist, religious, sexual , xenophobic nature should now be removed, burned and forgotten.

    1. Jaybus

      Such as the Parliament Square statue of Winston Churchill? Or do you mean for that to include churches, mosques, synagogues, sex toy shops, most women's clothing shops, and etc.? It's very complex. Perhaps we should just appoint you Minister of Propaganda to decide for us, similar to Joseph Goebbels' role in the 1930's. Wait! Churchill was instrumental in bringing down people like Goebbels, wasn't he?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sorry Jaybus,

        I was actually being ironic but this is exactly where the radical left is pushing us. They want us to erase history in the name of equality. This is the the radical lefts solution to solving world problems. Let's ignore history, let's avoid repeating the past by repeating the past...Ironic huh...

        "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose"...

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        >Churchill was instrumental in bringing down people like Goebbels, wasn't he?

        Churchill was no friend of the working man (or woman). It just goes to show that "its complicated" -- trying to come up with simplistic solutions to complex problems invariably misses the point. Churchill became an outsider in the 20s and 30s because he regarded fascism as a threat at a time when a lot of 'the ruling classes' (for want of a better term) were cosying up to them because the ideology offered the promise of a disciplned workforce without the inconvenience of trades unions and politics like socialism. Its actually not that much different today but as most people focus on the street theater of the 30s -- the uniforms, the torchlight processions and so on -- they miss the important poltiical and economic similarities between now and that period. Anyway, ordinary people in the UK were not happy with Fascists, there was a sort of loose coalition of anti-fascists (a bit like today's 'antifa') which was getting increasingly militant because of the UK's ruling classes tendency to appease the fascists so when the time came for a break with those sorts in May 1940 Churchill turned out to be the right person at the right time.

        Incidentally, most Nazi officials, especailly the lower echelons, were Little Brtain sorts (obviously "Little Germany"......) but that doesn't mean that there weren't really clever Nazis out there. Goebbels was one, he was a master propagandist. Heydrich was another, a brilliant young up and coming type, really competent and totally amoral ( and definitely not the sort of person you'd allow near the seat of power in modern Britain, surely?).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Did you not get the memo? The Nazis/facists were socialists. (According to the gaslighters on the modern extreme right and put forward as "FACT!” more-and-more on these comment sections in recent weeks.)

          1. intrigid

            It's literally in the name. Also, there was a recent rally of democratic socialists in the USA where a troll managed to get the microphone and recite Alolf Hitler quotes to the crowd, word for word, and received uproarious applause and cheering from said crowd.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward


              Does anyone else smell gas ?!?

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    A real problem

    Whether you like unions or not, your company has a real problem if there's SO MANY unionization messages on your company feed or whatever that it's like "so many messages, I need to filter these out." Of course, I'd just use the China technique. (They avoid their national filter's filtering by picking words that phoenitically sound similar, or have Chinese symbols that look similar, to banned words and phrases.) "Union" is blocked? OK, suddenly people might be really into "onions" instead.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: A real problem

      A solution to this might be simple: As part of the service, provide everyone with a relatively un-moderated "water cooler" area within the company-paid-for thing, as a standard feature.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge

    I say Onionize Now!

    1. Either learn to message in gibberish code,

    2. You're smart cookies working at FB! figure out another way to message?

    1. DiViDeD

      Re: I say Onionize Now!

      This is the technique Professor Stick used to avoid demonetisation of his Coronavirus videos by YouTube.

      He simply called it Voldemort

  9. Christoph

    Simple fix

    They can get round the filter by just spelling unionise correctly!

    Seriously though, filters like that are always bypassed by simply using other words to mean the same thing. And banning those words leads to whack-a-mole, or to using the names of the bosses as the alternate words so they would have to censor their own names.

    1. deadlockvictim

      Re: Simple fix

      I agree, use the spelling as it used in the other English-speaking countries. I'm fairly sure that the software won't recognise it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple fix

      Whatever man, the boss don't give a zuck.

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    The Land of the Free

    Although employers, in America at least, can ban workers from using company email and messaging systems

    Why is the Statue of Liberty in the US? Because it's buried there.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon