The jig appears to be up over at Facebook, as a number of damaging revelations about the social media giant continue to make headlines.
Most damning, of course, is the fact that Facebook routinely put their profits ahead of user safety, as first noted by a prominent whistleblower during her testimony in front of Congress.
Now, with a massive trove of leaked documents to bolster the case, Facebook appears to be headed toward disaster.
Facebook has long been accused of playing favorites on multiple sides of the political spectrum, and it’s now clear just how much of that uproar extends to the company’s ranks. A Wall Street Journal report based on internal Facebook documents shows the social network’s leaders and staff have reportedly clashed numerous times over its approach to conservative content, particularly from outlets like Breitbart. Rank-and-file employees have accused Facebook of making “special exceptions” from policies for right-wing outlets, while senior-level staff warned of potential pitfalls.
Workers argued that Facebook kept Breitbart in a second tier of the News Tab, a section meant to focus on reliable news, despite very low trust and quality scores as well as misinformation violations. Facebook was not only making exceptions, one employee said, but “explicitly” endorsing outlets like this by including them as trusted partners. Staff claimed Facebook was “scared of political backlash” if it enforced policies equally, and believed the site let conservative influencers Diamond and Silk lobby fact checkers to avoid punishment for spreading misinformation.
But it gets worse:
Higher-ups countered with justifications for those decisions. They argued that booting a news outlet for trust scores would risk booting more mainstream outlets like CNN, for instance. When staff asked Facebook to intervene over Breitbart‘s alleged attempts to dodge sites’ advertising blocks, a director said Facebook had to resist the urge and “rely on our principles and policies.”
Other messages from within the company appeared to directly attack Mark Zuckerberg and other high level decision makers over their wanton disregard for safety in pursuit of profits.