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Facebook shut down an internal pro-Trump discussion group because of harassment, says report

  • An online group formed to discuss internal Facebook issues reportedly morphed into a pro-Trump forum that attracted hundreds of workers
  • CEO Mark Zuckerberg shut it down shortly after the election, saying the discussions devolved into harassment
  • A sign seen on the campus afterward suggests conservatives on the forum felt 'silenced'
TECHONOMY 2016
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An online group formed to discuss internal Facebook issues morphed into a pro-Trump forum that attracted hundreds of company workers before CEO Mark Zuckerberg shut it down, according to a report in Business Insider.

The anonymous group, called Facebook Anon, gave Facebook employees the chance to candidly complain about the company's policies and culture, the report says.

At the start, it was used to talk about mundane issues, like the ethics of taking home extra food from the company cafeteria.

Yet the tone of the discussions became increasingly political and heated as the 2016 presidential campaign season went on, as right-leaning Facebook employees began to see the group as a safe haven. Facebook pulled the plug on the group in December, shortly after Trump was elected president.

Later, at an all-hands meeting in early 2017, Zuckerberg reportedly said the group was shut down because it had been used to harass fellow workers.

An email to Facebook seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

Shortly after Zuckerberg's explanation, a poster was reportedly seen on the Facebook campus with the group's beginning and end dates and the words: "Silenced, but not silent."

Read the full report here.