“Black Lives Matter”: Facebook, Netflix and Peloton take sides as protests sweep America

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Protests get tense in New York
“We are from the black community,” wrote CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post late Sunday, adding the Silicon Valley technology company to a growing list of companies that responded to racist protests, calls for solutions to the growing discord in the country and promises to address diversity and inclusion in their businesses.
Zuckerberg added, however, that Facebook needs to do more to keep people safe and avoid promoting bias while being controlled for how it handles the online discussion of the protests.

“I know $ 10 million can’t solve this problem,” he said.

Demonstrations have been taking place for nearly a week in the United States after a former Minneapolis police officer was seen kneeling on George Floyd’s neck in a video. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired after the accident.
Since then Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder, but protesters are demanding stronger punishment as well as charges for the other three police officers involved.

Many argue that Floyd’s disappearance highlighted the unequal treatment of African Americans across the country.

In recent days, some of the protests have gone violent, with protesters setting fire to and looting local businesses. In response, at least 40 cities have announced a curfew, asking protesters to return home.

Facebook “must do more”

Zuckerberg said in his assignment that he and his wife, Priscilla, have been supporting organizations working against prejudice in the criminal justice system for years, committing around $ 40 million a year.

But he also said that society needs to do more.

“To help in this fight, I know Facebook needs to do more to support the equality and security of the black community through our platforms,” ​​said Zuckerberg, adding that he was “grateful” that the video of Floyd’s meeting with the police were posted on Facebook “because we all had to see it”.

“But it’s clear that Facebook also has a lot of work to do to protect people and ensure that our systems don’t amplify bias,” he said.

Trump and Zuckerberg spoke on the phone on Friday
Unlike chirping (tWTR), for example, Facebook (FB) He did not put any warning labels on President Donald Trump’s posts that threatening to “plunder” in Minneapolis would lead to “shootings”. Zuckerberg said his company “reads it as a warning about state action and we think people need to know if the government is going to deploy force.”
Twitter, meanwhile, recently added the “#BlackLivesMatter” slogan to his official bioand on Sunday he presented a list of accounts to allow users to hear more from “marginalized groups”.
“Diversify your feed,” suggested in a Tweet. The company earlier this year engaged ensure that underrepresented minorities make up a quarter of the American workforce by 2025.

Companies join the chorus of voices that promise “black lives matter”

Other companies have also responded to the unrest, promising to step up the issue.

Starting fitness peloton (PtOn) he announced on Sunday that he will donate $ 500,000 to the NAACP legal defense fund as a way to support black communities. The NAACP, or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is an important civil rights organization in the United States.

“Black lives matter,” wrote John Foley, CEO of Peloton, in a message to users. “This week, what has become clear to me is that we have to make sure it is an anti-racist organization.”

On Fridays, Nike (NKE) he reversed his iconic “Just Do It” slogan in an online video, saying “For once, don’t do it.”

“Don’t pretend there’s no problem in America,” said the message. “Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept that innocent lives are taken from us. Don’t make excuses any more. Don’t think this isn’t about you. Don’t sit down and keep quiet.”

Netflix (NFLX) is Disney (DIS) echoed that feeling.
“Being silent means being accomplices,” Netflix tweeted Sunday. “The lives of blacks matter. We have a platform and we have a duty to get our black members, employees, creators and talents to talk.”
In a note to employees, the Disney president, the CEO and the diversity manager he promised to step up their inclusion efforts “to ensure that we are promoting a culture that recognizes our people’s feelings and pain”.
“While these devastating incidents are not new, there is something unique about what is happening right now,” Bob Iger, Bob Chapek and Latondra Newton he wrote. “The pandemic coupled with these recent injustices have brought to light the issues of racial disparity.”
pop (SNAP) CEO Evan Spiegel told employees in a memo that he was “heartbroken and infuriated by the treatment of blacks and black people in America.”

In the letter provided to CNN Business, he criticized racial inequality and wealth in the United States. He said the government should create a “progressive income tax system” which requires large corporations to pay more in taxes and a “substantially higher” tax.

“Entrepreneurship depends on whether people are able to take risks to start a business, which is almost impossible to do without a sort of safety net like the one I had,” said Spiegel.

He also proposed the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, a non-partisan group that deals with racism and pays reparations.

“There is a lot to learn from those who dared to undertake a similar process following atrocities around the world, and we should create a process that reflects American values ​​and helps our nation make the necessary change and heal. “he said.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple (AAPL), also shared his thoughts in a letter sent to confirmed employees at CNN Business. He said he is being heard by employees who are “afraid” of their communities because of recent events and is creating a “number of groups” to help fight racial injustice.

Cook said that Apple “has always drawn strength from our diversity, has welcomed people from all walks of life to our stores around the world and is committed to building an Apple that includes everyone.”

He added that people “can only wish for a return to normal or a status quo that is comfortable only if we look away from injustice. But that” desire is itself a sign of privilege “.

Intel (INTC) CEO Bob Swan also approached his employees, writing that “Black lives matter. Period.” His company is also committed to donating $ 1 million to be donated to community organizations focused on social injustice.
“While racism may appear very different worldwide, one thing that doesn’t seem different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities.” Swan said.
Levi (LEVI) he said Monday on his Instagram account he was donating $ 100,000 to the ACLU.

Not all comments were well received.

The NFL was severely criticized after facing the death of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery on Saturday.
Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a declaration that “the reactions of the protesters to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that many of us experience.”

“These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There is an urgent need for action,” he added.

Colin Kaepernick starts a legal defense fund for protesters arrested in Minneapolis
Some critics accused Goodell of making trivial blanks, citing the experience of Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who was famous for protesting the treatment of American blacks – especially by the police – before the games. Kaepernick hasn’t found a football team since 2017, which some believe is due to his political views.
“Too bad for you. This is beyond emptiness + naive”, the director Ava DuVernay tweeted in response to the NFL. “You have done nothing but the exact opposite of what you describe here.”

– Jordan Valinsky and S. Mitra Kalita Business of CNN contributed to this report.

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