Demoralized Facebook Employees Want to Jump Ship

Facebook is again in the news… for all the wrong reasons.

This time, an exposé published in the New York Times highlights the reported ineptitude of Facebook’s leadership in the face of multiple threats, including Russian manipulation of the platform. A subsequent report in the Wall Street Journal shows employees at the company are fed up.

The New York Times report is worth a read if you’re concerned about how social media affects the news cycle (and you should be). It’s a glimpse into how Facebook pulls strings via lobbyists and other interest groups.

Facebook employees are apparently tired of it all, too. The Wall Street Journal points to a leaked internal survey showing a rise in employees wanting to leave the company; most employees say they’ll stay less than four years, down from 4.3 years in last year’s query. Around 12 percent want to leave within a year, up from 10 percent last year. One has to wonder if those willing to stay longer are waiting for restricted stock options to vest before they find the exit.

Roughly half of employees are optimistic about Facebook’s future, down a full 32 percent from last year; 53 percent say the social network is making the world a better place, down 19 percent year-over-year. The survey was completed by 29,000 Facebook staffers earlier in 2018.

One Facebook tech employee (who wished to stay anonymous) told Dice it’s “difficult to want to be here” in the wake of these (and other) stories about the company. Motivation amongst staff they interact with is “dying.”

Facebook’s legislative reckoning may be near, too:

Interestingly enough, Facebook is a routine high performer in third-party surveys. Just about every Blind study paints the company in a favorable light. Glassdoor reviews are also high. These two data-points don’t jibe with the internal survey.

It’s also not the first (or only) company that has fallen on hard times for its business practices. Uber is a precursor for Google and Facebook, in the sense of employees voicing concerns on a variety of issues, forcing media scrutiny and subsequent internal change. If all goes according to precedent, Google and Facebook will also change policies and right their respective ships.

But the long tail of bad news doesn’t bode well for Facebook, now or in the future. We know the average tenure at the company is roughly two years, so turnover is already high. With all that’s been (and being) reported, the company is starting to develop a black eye amongst tech pros.

Ethics is coming to the foreground for tech companies. Now that the halcyon days of Silicon Valley are behind us, we’re left to examine how we’ve arrived at this point. Facebook is a shining example of how broken tech can be, brokering personal data for ad buys while trying to puppet-master Congress. Google is no better, but at least reacts well to employee outrage. Facebook chose to pen a retort to the New York Times that admits to slowness in handling issues, sprinkled with promises to do better; that, as much as anything else, speaks to its character as a company.

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4 Responses to “Demoralized Facebook Employees Want to Jump Ship”

  1. What’s hilarious is that Facebook — arguably the most left-leaning Big Tech company aside from maybe Google — has effectively gaslit the mainstream narrative (with of course massive assistance from the likes of the mainstream news outlets such as CNN, Washington [Com]Post, and the New York Times) such that the narrative is not that Facebook does everything in its power to promote the left-leaning, crypto-Marxist Frankfurt School-tinged narrative (I mean come on: has anyone ever looked at Facebook news? It’s basically just a string of anti-Trump articles) but rather, magically, that it’s TOO “right wing”, apparently helping “Russian hackers steal elections”, and there hasn’t been ENOUGH censorship.

    It’s all pretty ridiculous to anyone looking at this objectively from the outside. If Facebook employees should be butt-hurt about anything, it’s the fact that their operation is just a giant satanic monolith gathering information for governmental agencies on one hand, and cynically manipulating human emotions to sell more consumer products on the other. Yes, there might be some isolated examples of Facebook allowing speech that the left-wing drones in Silicon Valley might find offensive, but it’s not within their ability — even if they did have the desire — to manipulate and censor every bit of speech that the Left finds offensive, as then Facebook finds itself in the uncomfortable position of trying to be the supreme arbiter of truth. (After all, what’s a “conspiracy theory” other than something that is currently not accepted as part of mainstream discourse? It was still considered “conspiracy theory” until very recently that the United States instigated the Gulf of Tonkin incident in order to faciliate escalation of the Vietnam War, for example.) Overall, Facebook has some serious issues and why anyone even still uses the platform at all is a mystery to me, but trying to frame the issue around “Russian election meddling” and “right wing” this-or-that is trite and tired.

    • David Starke

      If Facebook’s left-wing, why did it respond to being criticized by attacking George Soros, the Cons’ “favorite” bugbear? BTW, your rhetoric drips of discredited Con ideology, what with overwrought references to Marxism and all.

      • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

        Why do left-wingers openly embrace Democratic “Socialism” but seem to get triggered by any mention of socialism’s kissing cousin, Marxism?

        The tsunami of progressive intolerance and hatred of President Trump spewing from Facebook “news” is almost as comically unhinged as the offerings highlighted on the other large online Leftist propaganda “news” site at Google.