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Staffers Blast Facebook’s ‘Black People Problem’ In Open Letter

Facebook is still inhospitable to its minority employees — despite its efforts to confront racism within its ranks, several of the company’s staffers say.

Conditions at the social media giant have grown more hostile since a former employee exposed the company’s “black people problem,” a dozen past and present staffers wrote in a Medium post last week.

“There may be a few more posters on the wall. There may be an effort to recruit diverse talent. But not much has changed to ensure that people are recognized, empowered, and overall treated equitably by their managers and peers,” according to the anonymous staffers.

The note was published the same week as Facebook’s annual “Black@” conference, where top executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg addressed hundreds of their African American employees.

The memo includes a dozen anonymous anecdotes of black employees being belittled, dismissed and denied opportunities for advancement. The staffers say they did not use their names because Facebook’s culture makes employees of color afraid to report bad behavior.

The post says the dozen anecdotes are also “reflective of” mistreatment of Latino and female Asian employees.

One program manager said two white employees once “asked me to clean up after their mess.” When the person told their boss about the incident, the advice they got was to “dress more professionally.”

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Another black staffer was “accused of being a liar and stealing others’ ideas” without any concrete evidence, the post says.

“Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments,” the employees wrote. “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.”

A Facebook official apologized for mistreatment the black staffers experienced.

“No one at Facebook, or anywhere, should have to put up with this behavior. We are sorry,” Bertie Thomson, the vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement. “It goes against everything that we stand for as a company. We’re listening and working hard to do better.”

The new allegations came almost exactly a year after former Facebook manager Mark Luckie, who is himself black, accused the company of “failing” its black employees and users in a memo before his departure.

Luckie, who worked as a global influencers manager, argued that Facebook’s sidelining of black employees hurts black people’s experiences using the platform.

Source: Nypost

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