By: Benyamin Davidsons
Facebook employees have ethical concerns about the path onto which the company has swayed.
As reported by the NY Post, employees of the social media giant say Mark Zuckerberg’s fixation on growing the company has come at all costs. Based on internal messages leaked to the media, ethical concerns have been superseded, letting hate speech and incitements of violence to continue unimpeded
“History will not judge us kindly,” one Facebook employee reportedly wrote on Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol riots, which were partly organized on Facebook. “We’ve been fueling this fire for a long time and we shouldn’t be surprised it’s now out of control,” another staffer wrote, reports the Atlantic.
Facebook employees who for months worked to add awareness within the company about how the platform was actually pushing users towards extreme content, felt let down by the lack of responsive action from the company, as per the Atlantic. One employee accused the company of being “willing to act only after things had spiraled into a dire state.”
On Monday, the Financial Times also reported that other staffers are calling out Zuckerberg for personally intervening to protect certain political figures though they violated the company’s content moderation rules. An employee added that the site’s false news policy is bendable for certain publishers, including Breitbart, Diamond and Silk, Charlie Kirk and PragerU.
The leaked statements follow heavy duty allegations containing roughly tens of thousands of pages by whistleblower and former employee Frances Haugen. She says that Facebook allegedly misled investors, hiding its fading growth particularly among teens and young adults in the US, and has also neglected a crackdown on human trafficking on the platform, and failed to police abusive content across the globe. On Monday, Facebook shares closed at $328.69, up 1.26 percent. However, since Haugen’s reports were publicized in September, the share price has taken a hit of roughly 15 percent.
Facebook did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the story. Previously Facebook spokesperson Joe Osborne told the Financial Times: “At the heart of these stories is a premise which is false. Yes, we’re a business and we make profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people’s safety or wellbeing misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie. The truth is we’ve invested $13bn and have over 40,000 people to do one job: keep people safe on Facebook.”