FB’s darkest hour: staff morale has fallen to freezing point due to unprecedented turbulence


Tencent technology news on October 13, social media Facebook is trying to get rid of the worst week in history. Employees of the company said that from cracking down on whistleblowers to regulators focusing on the impact of Facebook and a series of its applications on teenagers, as well as the security of algorithms, the company is experiencing unprecedented turbulence.
After nearly a month of uninterrupted media coverage of a batch of leaked Facebook documents, a new turning point occurred last Sunday. The former Facebook employees who started the whole thing walked out of the shadow and made a public appearance on TV programs. The following week, she was scheduled to appear before Congress. Inside Facebook, the mood of many employees is like a besieged army. Many people believe that Frances Haugen, the former Facebook project manager who leaked the documents, is not so much a heroic informant as a thief engaged in “corporate espionage”.
Hogan, a 37 year old Harvard graduate, joined Facebook in 2019 as the product manager of the “people misleading information” team and left Facebook in May this year. Hogan revealed on her personal website that during her work on Facebook, she was shocked by the company’s decision to put profits above public safety and decided to bravely stand up and expose Facebook at great personal risk. Hogan once disclosed four inside stories of Facebook: differential treatment of celebrity accounts; Being sued by the investor to the court; Instagram is harmful to the mental health of adolescents and the “benefit is more important than safety” policy.
Before leaving Facebook, hogan copied several internal documents and memos. These materials were then handed over to the media. These Facebook internal files are called “Facebook files”.
Some employees are frustrated and dissatisfied with this situation, although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has created a calm and almost detached behavior, like a calm captain driving a ship through rough waters. But the next few days will bring a certain degree of chaos to Facebook, which can no longer be ignored by Zach, and will cause repercussions throughout the company. So far, a Facebook spokesman has not commented on the report.
Hogan appeared on the TV program, which was the first time most employees learned that their former colleagues had become informants. “There are a lot of people attacking whistleblowers,” said a current employee who was critical of the company. Hogan’s practice angered some people inside Facebook who questioned who was supporting her. “She has a public relations team behind her,” said a long-term employee, describing it as “one of the main reasons for employee frustration.”
Facebook management is very sensitive to the means of attackers and tries to make every employee consistent. Employees were quickly told not to publicly criticize Hogan, especially anyone who worked directly with her. When Hogan appeared on TV, Facebook employees were used to weeks of negative news reports and watching the company clumsily struggle between internal morale boosting responsibilities and external damage control.
At the end of last month, amid growing opposition from child welfare advocates, policymakers and law enforcement officials, Facebook suspended its plan to develop an instagram app for children. Just when Facebook employees thought the bad times were over, hogan suddenly appeared on the TV show and disclosed more information. With the media coverage, the event finally began to ferment.
Last Monday, Facebook suffered an unprecedented catastrophic technical failure. Including Facebook, instagram, WhatsApp and oculus applications, there were six hours of downtime, affecting more than 3.5 billion users worldwide. Affected by this, the company’s share price plunged by 5% and its market value lost about $47 billion.
After all the drama about whistleblowers, downtime hit Facebook like a flood. Because Facebook’s internal tools were affected by the power outage, its efforts to diagnose and repair the problem were blocked, and the company later admitted the incident in a blog post. It is reported that some employees working in Facebook offices even have difficulty in entering the office space and opening the door of the meeting room. Many Facebook employees were idle and unable to communicate with their colleagues through their common applications. Some people like improvised “snowy days”, while others with more meeting arrangements choose to use zoom and other third-party tools. Internal speculation about cyber attacks turned out to be unfounded: Facebook eventually said it was an unexpected result of “routine maintenance”.
After Hogan testified in Congress, Zuckerberg was forced to take action. He broke his silence on the situation in a long letter to Facebook staff, which was then posted on his own Facebook page (perhaps to prevent inevitable disclosure). In the letter, he said, “many statements are meaningless.” “the core of these allegations is our idea of putting profits above safety and well-being. This is not true.” Zuckerberg wrote. “We have an industry-leading research project so that we can find important problems and solve them. It’s frustrating to see the media take out of context and build false narratives that we don’t care about.”

Facebook supporters admit that the endless news cycle may have an impact on employee morale, and say that management is trying to boost employee morale: “many of them have experienced a lot before… I think it may be more difficult for some newcomers.” many sources said that the company’s public relations method still hurts some people, Others want the company to take the initiative to share more internal research to lead future problems. (compiled by Tencent technology / Wuji)