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Anonymous memo alleging racism at Facebook circulates inside company

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  • Facebook is facing allegations of ongoing racism and discrimination among its workforce.
  • A blog post highlighting the issues is circulating within the Silicon Valley tech giant, Business Insider has learned.
  • The anonymous post says it is written by 12 current and former employees, and details numerous alleged incidents.
  • Facebook employees have previously spoken out about alleged racism at the company.

A memo is circulating within Facebook that details allegations of ongoing racism and discrimination at the social networking giant.

Employees have been sharing and discussing an anonymously authored blog post that asserts racism at the company has gotten worse over the last year, and quotes what it says are twelve current and former employees about their experiences, Business Insider has learned.

“Facebook still has a black people problem. And a problem with individual contributors who are not white,” the document reads. “On the inside, we are sad. Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here.” It was posted publicly on blogging platform Medium on Thursday, and is available to read in full here.

The blog post comes a year after a former employee, Mark Luckie, detailed allegations of racial discrimination at the company in a 2,5000 word memo that subsequently went viral, and indicates that Facebook has yet to assuage the concerns of its employees of color. It is also the latest example of the growing worker unrest that has roiled Facebook as well as Google and the broader tech industry with protests, petitions, and open letters over working conditions and other issues.

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The examples range from employees’ managers allegedly discriminating against them to non-white employees being treated differently by colleagues, concerns not being taken seriously, and comments made about “blacks” on anonymous chat app Blind. 

“While eating breakfast, two white employees asked me to clean up after their mess. I am a program manager. I told my manager about the incident. She told me I need to dress more professionally,” one anecdote said.

Another said: “Our org, which is incredibly diverse in representation, had very low Pulse [an internal Facebook survey that measures morale and other issues] results in the last half. Rather than be transparent about the changes we need to make, our leader said it was our fault for low Pulse scores and we need to do self-reflection on how to improve our performance.”

The authors of the post said they have remained anonymous out of fear of retaliation: “Facebook creates a hostile culture where anyone that is non-white is made to feel fear for their job and their safety to report any bad behaviors. There is little to no equity in terms of responsibilities, ratings, and reviews. Bad behaviors from non-POCs are elevated while normal actions from POCs are treated as aggressive, angry, and abnormal. Even positive ratings are shared with a negative, threatening tone.”

The letter added: “Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments. It’s in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted. By contrast, our colleagues in the majority populations have been elevated, celebrated, and promoted for doing less than the work we have been tasked to do.”

Business Insider was not immediately able to verify the letter authors’ identities, but a source at the company confirmed that it is currently circulating and being discussed internally. Current and former Facebook employees, including Luckie, are also tweeting about it. 

Do you work at Facebook? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at [email protected], Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.)

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