Facebook Removes, Then Restores Post By Former Employee That Criticized Alleged Racial Discrimination

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Celine Ryan Contributor
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A former Facebook Employee says the company removed a memo he published criticizing Facebook’s “black people problem.”

Upon stepping down from his position as Partnerships Manager at Facebook in early November, Mark S. Luckie sent out a company-wide memo addressing “issues surrounding the internal and external representation of black people” at the company. The memo criticized not only alleged systematic exclusion of black users via Facebook algorithms, but also alleged discrimination of black Facebook employees.

“Facebook is a company built on data. When determining where to allocate resources, ranking data such as followers, greatest number of likes and shares, or yearly revenue are employed to scale features and products,” Luckie wrote. “The problem with this approach is Facebook teams are effectively giving more resources to the people who already have them. In doing so, Facebook is increasing the disparity of access between legacy individuals/brands and minority communities.”

Luckie says this treatment of black people on its platform “mirrors the marginalization of its black employees.”

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo - RC1D880ABF30

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

“In my time at the company, I’ve heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them ‘hostile’ or ‘aggressive’ for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their non-Black team members,” Luckie reported, adding that he knew of instances where black employees had been dissuaded from being active in black internal chat groups or doing “black stuff” after work hours.

Luckie released this same memo to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 27.

After the memo criticizing Facebook began to circulate on its own platform, Luckie says it was removed by the company. “Turns out Facebook took down my post challenging discrimination at the company, disabling users’ ability to share or read it. Further proves my point,” he tweeted Tuesday.  (RELATED: Facebook Is Deleting 66,000 Posts A Week As ‘Hate Speech’)

The post was later restored, and Luckie received notification that after receiving his request to review the decision to remove his content, Facebook found that the memo had been removed in error. However, Luckie claims he made no such request, as he had only very recently become aware of the situation.

“Several people reached out after I published the note to say that the Facebook site was preventing them from linking to the post. I chalked it up to a possible technical glitch. This suggests that there was something more going on behind the scenes,” said Luckie.

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