Facebook Implements New Guidelines for Internal Employee Speech

Facebook is outlining new rules it employees must abide by for employee communications within Workplace, the company’s internal social network, according to CNBC. The biggest change is a requirement that employees must use a picture of themselves or their initials for their profile photos. As a result, this prevents employees from being able to use images of their favorite political candidates or causes.

“We deeply value expression, open discussion, and a company culture built on respect and inclusivity,” Joe Osborne, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement. “What we have 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. So we’re updating our policies and work tools to make sure our people have both voice, and choice.”

The new rules will also expand Facebook’s definition of harassment. The company will not allow any communication that is considered to be insensitive or derogatory. Facebook is also banning degrading communication that could possibly create a hostile work environment especially for employees considered to be in a protected class. Facebook will also specifically outline which parts of its Workplace will be able to be used for discussions about political and social issues.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to ensure all his employees, especially those who are African-American, feel supported. The changes come after recent leaks from employees who have been critical of Zuckerberg, according to The Verge.