Briefing

Facebook’s pitch for its new office communication tool said it would let companies block discussion of unionization

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In an internal presentation about Workplace, Facebook’s effort to challenge Slack and Microsoft Teams, the social media giant debuted a feature that lets employers exert “content control” over certain topics. The presentation included the word “unionize” as an example of a term employers might want to block. The presentation was reportedly taken down the next day; a Facebook spokesperson apologized for the example and said it had “pulled any plans to roll [Workplace] out while we think through next steps.” (The Intercept)

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Talking point: Companies are increasingly turning to tech solutions to suppress unionization efforts. In April, Amazon-owned Whole Foods used a heat-map tool to track stores at the highest “risk” for unionization. Walmart has hired Lockheed Martin to monitor unionization efforts at its U.S. stores. While workers at some Big Tech firms have been organizing around pay equity and sexual harassment, so far, Kickstarter is the only tech company whose employees  have sucessfully formed a union earlier this year. Facebook’s employees have recently taken issue with the company’s lax approach to misinformation and hateful content.”