Publishing a June 2016 memo describing the impact of Facebook's growth on all costs triggered an emotional conversation in the company today. An internal post responded to the memo, stating that employees were angry and heartbroken, that their teammates shared internal business discussions with the media. Many called on the company to step up the war against Leakers and hire more "integrity" employees.
On Thursday night BuzzFeed published a memo from Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, a vice president of Facebook who is currently conducting his hardware efforts. In the memo, Bosworth says that the core function of the company is to connect people, despite the consequences that he has repeatedly called "ugly." "That's why all our work is justified, all the questionable contact import practices," he wrote. "All the subtle language that helps people search for friends, all the work we do to create more communication, the work we'll probably do in China one day, all that."
Bosworth distanced himself from the memo and said in a Twitter post that he had not agreed to these words, even as he wrote them. He said he was trying to talk about the company's growth strategy. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said BuzzFeed that he had disagreed with the sentiment at the time and that growth should not be an end in itself. "We realize that connecting people alone is not enough, and we also have to work to bring people closer," Zuckerberg said.
After Bosworth published the memo, he deleted his original post. "Although I will not go so far as to call it a straw man, this post was definitely designed to provoke an answer," Bosworth wrote in a memo received from The Verge . "It effectively served as an invitation to employees throughout the company to engage in the debate on how we behave in the ever-changing customs of the online community, which in itself was not particularly significant and the comments were impressive. A conversation over the years that was alive again this week.
" This conversation is now gone, "Bosworth continued," and I will not be the one to bring it back for fear that it will be misunderstood by a broader population that does not have a complete context about who we are and how we work. "
Facebook and Bosworth did not want to comment on that.
Nearly 3,000 employees were on Bosworth s Memo responded when The Verge addressed it with a mix of likes, "sad" and "angry" reactions. Many clerks gathered at Bosworth's side and praised him for bluntly sharing his feelings about sensitive corporate matters.
Dozens of employees criticized the company's unknown foothills. "Leakers, please step back instead of sabotaging the company," one wrote in a comment under Bosworth's post. Wrote another: "How terrible that some irresponsible idiot has decided that he or she has a divine complex that endangers our inner culture and something that makes Facebook great?"
Several employees suggested that Facebook consider employees to a high degree of "integrity" during the hiring process. "Although we are all unconsciously looking for a signal for integrity in interviews, should we consider whether this needs to be formalized in the interview process?"
Wrote another:" This is so disappointing, I wonder, if there is a way to rent for integrity. We're probably focusing on the part of the intelligence and having smart people here who lack a moral compass and loyalty.
Other employees said it was difficult to detect leakages before they acted.
"I do not think we've seen a great deal of internal data espionage, but I've always believed that an open but punitive attitude "For a suicide bomber, it's particularly vulnerable," wrote one contributor. "We're foolish. I think we could take appropriate action against them in a hiring process of our scale. … We have our representative share of the sick, drug addicts, women batsmen and suicide bombers. Part of it can not be alleviated by training. For me, that's just a matter of time.
This employee continued, saying, "OMG, I just went back to my computer from a half-eaten lunch with food in my mouth. APOLOGIES to our brothers in the sisters at the Austin office for my insensitive selection of metaphors / words. I'm so sorry. "
Several employees shared concern that the leaks had lost Facebook's luster and the company was repeatedly named as one of the best jobs in America.
"If this leak # $% ^ continues, we will become like any other company where people are reluctant to discuss far-reaching, forward-looking ideas and thoughts that only the very average ideas and thoughts are discussed and executed, "wrote a co-worker. To turn you into average companies.
Another employee replied, "Will? Seems like we're there.
Here is Bosworth's complete memo to the company today.
I feel a little dismayed tonight.
I had several reporters today talking to each other about leaks of internal information
In response In one of these gaps, I decided to delete a post I wrote a few years ago about our mission to connect people and the way we grow, although I will not go quite that far to it as a straw man, this post was definitely meant to trigger a response, effectively serving as an invitation to all of the company's employees to engage in the debate on how we behave in the ever-changing customs of the online community. The post had no special meaning in itself, the comments were impressive, a conversation over the years, which was also alive this week R.
This conversation is over now. And I will not be the one to bring it back for fear that it will be misunderstood by a broader population that has no complete connection to who we are and how we work.
These are the very real costs of leaks. We had a sensitive topic that we could approach openly and even research bad ideas, even if we just eliminated them. If we have to live in the fear that even our bad ideas will be exposed, then we will not explore them or understand them as such, we will not clearly label them as such, we are much more likely to stumble upon them later. Talks go underground or do not happen at all. And not only that we are worse off, but also the people who use our products.
Casey Newton can be reached at [email protected], or send him a message on Twitter @CaseyNewton Signal.