Another day, another crisis for the social network.
Facebook employees are reportedly up in arms over a BuzzFeed report detailing a leaked “growth at any cost” memo from Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, a vice president at the social network, that was originally published in 2016. Comments from Facebook employees published by the Verge late Thursday suggest a growing sense of frustration and paranoia within the company, particularly in regards to leaked information.
“Thinking adversarially, if I wanted info from Facebook, the easiest path would be to get people hired into low-level employee or contract roles,” one employee posted, according to the site’s report.
“If this leak #$%^ continues, we will become like every other company where people are hesitant to discuss broad-reaching, forward-looking ideas and thoughts, that only the very average ideas and thoughts get discussed and executed,” another reportedly said.
The comments — at least those collected by the Verge — show Facebook on the defensive following weeks of tough coverage. Representatives for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable.
Not all the comments are negative, we should say, but the tenor of responses is loud and clear: Employees are sick of leaks and negative stories. There’s also a sense that the public is misunderstanding the company’s ideals. No doubt the greatest hubris came from Boz himself, in an internal memo also captured by the Verge.
“In response to one of the leaks I have chosen to delete a post I made a couple of years ago about our mission to connect people and the ways we grow… That conversation is now gone. And I won’t be the one to bring it back for fear it will be misunderstood by a broader population that doesn’t have full context on who we are and how we work,” he wrote.
Perhaps it’s true that the grunts using Facebook can’t understand the vision of the people running it. But less navel-gazing and more accountability to those of us who keep the social network’s coffers flush with billions in profit might behoove Facebook as it navigates its latest existential crisis.
The social network has been mired in a scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that was able to exploit Facebook’s platform to access information from millions of user profiles without consent back in 2014. Facebook’s market value plummeted after reports in the New York Times and the Observer detailed the firm’s practices in mid-March, the FTC confirmed it’s investigating the company, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been on an apology tour.
He’s expected to testify to Congress in the coming days, and calls for the social network to be regulated by the government have never been louder.