By Jeff Horwitz 

Facebook Inc. will train and require employees to moderate internal discussion groups devoted to politics, social causes and other topics unrelated to company business as part of its effort to curb internal debate around divisive issues.

The company said Wednesday that the move -- taken amid a contentious U.S. election and ongoing social justice protests around the country -- will be accompanied by restrictions in the ways employees can express their opinions on controversial social topics on Facebook's internal Workplace communications tool and a tightening of company policy on "respectful workplace communications."

Facebook cast the changes as addressing employee concerns that its internal discussions had become too political. The company has faced increasingly frequent leaks in recent months as well as a rash of people posting harsh criticism or unflattering information through the internal tool.

"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," Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said. "So we're updating our policies and work tools to make sure our people have both voice, and choice."

Write to Jeff Horwitz at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 24, 2020 15:22 ET (19:22 GMT)

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