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Facebook, Snapchat join chorus of companies condemning George Floyd death, racism

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Facebook, Snapchat join chorus of companies condemning George Floyd death, racism 1

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc and Snap Inc became the latest U.S. companies condemning racial inequality in the United States as violent protests flared up across major cities over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

Facebook, Snapchat join chorus of companies condemning George Floyd death, racism 2

A pile of burning garbage set by demonstrators is seen during looting after marching against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The two tech companies stood with Intel Corp, Netflix Inc, Alphabet’s Google, International Business Machines Corp and Nike Inc in taking a public stance against Floyd’s death – calling out discrimination against African-Americans.

“We stand with the Black community – and all those working towards justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten,” Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said late Sunday.

Zuckerberg, who said in a Friday post that Facebook would not take action on an inflammatory post by U.S. President Donald Trump about the Minneapolis protests, said Facebook will commit $10 million to organizations working on racial justice.

Floyd’s death caused yet another round of outrage across the U.S. on the treatment of African-Americans by police officers, polarizing the country politically and racially as states begin to ease lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twitter, which last week was at the center of a fight with Trump over its actions on his tweets, including a warning over one about the protests, added the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to its account bio on the site. The U.S. Google and YouTube homepages bore a notice saying they stood in support of racial equality.

In an internal company memo criticizing racism, Snapchat Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel appealed for comprehensive tax reforms in the country, with corporations paying a higher tax rate.

“We cannot end systemic racism without simultaneously creating opportunity for all people, regardless of their background,” he said.

“In short, people like me will pay a lot more in taxes – and I believe it will be worth it to create a society that benefits all of us,” he said.

On Friday, Nike flipped its iconic slogan to raise awareness about racism.

“For Once, Don’t Do It. Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism,” the company said in a video that has over six million views on Twitter and was shared by celebrities and rival Adidas AG.

Reporting by Neha Malara and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Uday Sampath; Editing by Sweta Singh, Bernard Orr and Nick Zieminski

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