One of the world’s largest accounting and consulting firms implemented a new social media policy that will prohibit employees from using “illegal” speech, even in private online conversation.
In April, Deloitte unveiled new guidelines for what constitutes an acceptable social media presence for employees. According to the guidelines, employees cannot “condone, engage, or assist in illegal conduct or speech” regardless of whether they are “acting in a business or personal capacity on social media.”
The policy does not define what constitutes “illegal speech,” though a whistleblower told The Daily Wire that he believes the statement remains intentionally vague to “silence conservatives and libertarians in general.”
Deloitte employees must also refrain from commenting on a slew of topics for fear that they may be contributing to “a hostile work environment.” Employees cannot criticize anyone for their “race, religion, creed, color, citizenship, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis.”
The policy does not offer religious exemptions. The Daily Wire asked Deloitte whether it would punish a Christian employee for criticizing gay marriage. The firm did not respond to request for comment.
A whistleblower, who spoke to The Daily Wire on the condition of anonymity, said that the firm’s previous social media policy was geared toward asking employees to be mindful of how they represent the company and asked them to be careful about revealing client information.
“The new changes could be described as aligning with one political party talking points and punishing employees for perceived aggressions,” the whistleblower said.
The policy encourages employees to express their views, though it warns with vague descriptions that “inappropriate social media communications” will not be tolerated.
“The U.S.-based firms respect the decision of personnel to express perspectives on important societal issues,” the policy reads. “However, the U.S.-based firms expressly prohibit personnel from engaging in inappropriate social media communications, regardless of whether such communication are personal or professional and whether such communications involve statements, images, videos, or other audio or visual communications.”
Employees must also avoid being “discriminatory, harassing, malicious, bullying, obscene, or abusive.” It is unclear what views are considered “discriminatory” or “harassing.
Deloitte has instituted other policies aimed at controlling employee’s speech in the name of “inclusion.” In March, the financial conglomerate told employees that unintentional “microaggressions” are considered a punishable offense.
The firm has instituted an “anti-racist” culture that requires U.S. offices to investigate all violations of “anti-racist” policies. Employees were told that “violation of [Deloitte’s] policies could extend to ‘microaggressions.’”
“Microaggressions” training for employees provided scenarios of unacceptable behavior. One example included “asking your Black male colleague to join the flag football or basketball team. Asking a black colleague to join a sports team was also considered an example of racial bias.
Deloitte employees were also told that if a minority colleague complains about a potentially racially insensitive issue, they cannot say, “In my opinion, I don’t think they were being racist,” “All Lives Matter,” or “Maybe you misheard them?”
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