An anonymous letter from a group of black Facebook employees is providing insight to the discriminatory culture plaguing the company.
The letter – published on November 7 on Medium by a group calling themselves FB Blind – comes nearly a year after a former coworker’s letter went viral for showing how the social media company was failing its black employees.
It also comes just as hundreds of black Facebook employees descended on the company’s Menlo Park campus for the annual [email protected] event.
Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sherly Sandberg attended the event which featured posts on Instagram under the ‘Share Black Stores’ filter, with many in the group felt made the company looked good.
‘On the inside, we are sad,’ the group said. ‘Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here.’
Since Mark Luckie’s November 8 memo last year – which he then shared on Facebook on November 27, 2018, after leaving the company – the group notes that ‘not much has changed.’
‘The problem is not just with black employees of different genders,’ the letter reads. ‘The below incidents are also reflective of behaviors against Latinx and female Asian employees.’
The letter includes 12 moments where the black employees felt negatively impacted by their ‘Facebook managers, HR business partners, and their immediate white colleagues.’
Several employees shared experiences of having their peer performance reviews tainted. Others also detailed that they were labeled ‘arrogant’ or disrespectful for speaking their opinion on different topics.
One employee shared how they were asked by two white employees to ‘clean up their mess’ after eating breakfast. The employee told their manager of the incident, only for her to tell the worker that they needed to ‘dress more professionally.’
Others told how their managers would purposefully make up negative feedback, often trying to enlist coworkers in the scheme and/or not even attributing comments to any staff. One worker’s colleagues tried to inform HR but no action was taken, according to the memo.
Blind, an app that lets Facebook staff post their experiences anonymously, was also cited as a space where black employees were treated ‘with an aggression unshackled from the constraints of the workplace.’
Career growth also appeared difficult for employees at the company, with one staff member highlighting how their supervisor instructed them to ‘just do’ their ‘core job.’
‘The only way for a promotion was to “do what I say”, to “not speak to others outside the team unless given permission”, to “not post on Workplace unless it is a project update”, and to be subservient to her whims,’ the disgruntled employee shared.
Several images of text screenshots were included in the posts, giving credibility to the various accusations listed by the employees.
‘Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments,’ FB Bling continued in the memo. ‘It’s in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted.’
The memo continued: ‘By contrast, our colleagues in the majority populations have been elevated, celebrated, and promoted for doing less than the work we have been tasked to do.’
The group chose to stay anonymous in an effort to stay away from the ‘hostile culture’ created by Facebook when staff report bad behaviors.
FB Blind added: ‘Bad behaviors from non-POCs are elevated while normal actions from POCs are treated as aggressive, angry, and abnormal.’
The group notes that management will likely put out a statement condemning the action and declaring that ‘this behavior is not acceptable.’
Bertie Thompson, a spokeswoman for Facebook, put out a statement saying essentially that.
‘No one at Facebook, or anywhere, should have to put up with this behavior,’ Thomson said in a statement, according to CNET. ‘We are sorry. It goes against everything that we stand for as a company. We’re listening and working hard to do better.’
The group states that such statements continue to do more harm than good as they will continue to enforce a harmful cycle.
‘We cannot afford to be vulnerable externally because Facebook has made us a vulnerable target internally,’ the letter concludes. ‘The only thing we can hope for in this cathartic exercise is to influence change by sharing our stories and hope that no one else experiences the same discriminatory behaviors that we have.’
Facebook has routinely come under fire for its treatment of black employees and its handling of things like hate speech.
According to Facebook’s 2019 diversity report, black employees make up just under 4 percent of the company (3.8 percent). Hispanic employees make up 5.2 percent of the office. – dailymail.co.uk