Meta logo split in half with chain, to resemble handcuffs, referring to 911 calls to Facebook office

Jason Reed

EXCLUSIVE: Inside 10 years of 911 calls to Meta’s 1 Hacker Way home

Since Meta opened its news office, police have been called hundreds of times.

 

Amelia Wu

Tech

After years in startup mode in downtown Palo Alto, Facebook opened a massive new campus in 2013, just down the road in Menlo Park. 

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Its headquarters, infamous for its extensive perks such as cafeterias, dry cleaners, and an arcade, was one of the many tricked-out campuses tech companies in Silicon Valley opened to incentivize coming onboard.

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“We wanted our space to create the same sense of community and connection among our teams that we try to enable with our services across the world,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2015 Facebook post about the new office.

The 250 acres host 10,000 employees, set to grow and expand over the next decade.

However, the campus has seen its fair share of challenges, including assault and abuse claims, bomb threats, multiple drug incidents, suicide attempts, and mental health evaluations, all recorded in 911 calls made from the campus’ address. 

The Daily Dot obtained the Menlo Park Police 911 logs involving 1 Hacker Way, which documented 239 calls in the past ten years. The logs do not indicate whether calls were made by or involved Facebook employees or third parties.

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In 2011, Facebook announced the move to Menlo Park. Five hundred employees moved to the campus in 2013, before the remaining employees joined in 2015. 

One of the first calls the campus made to the local police, on Jan. 31, 2013, involved reports of a 33-year-old individual at the time repeatedly trespassing on the campus. At 12pm, an arrest was made, as the individual had been previously warned. 

That May, police were also called for indecent exposure. In August, there were several charges of grand theft.

2014 had the fewest 911 calls from Facebook to Menlo Park, but those reports included drug activity, hit-and-runs, a returned missing person, and a number of reports of lost property.  

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A report taken on Dec. 3, 2015 revealed a possible incident of fraud, involving an employee stealing work property and reselling the items. That year, cops were also called several times for reports of petty theft. 

In 2016, as the sheen wore off the company, the campus incidents shifted somewhat, emblematic, perhaps, of the changing public perception of the social media platform.

Of the calls that year, two were suicide attempts. The first call was made in March, followed by another in June. 

In March, police responded and diffused the situation. 

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After former president Donald Trump won 2016 election, Facebook faced significant backlash. The hashtag #DeleteFacebook trending repeatedly on Twitter. In December 2016, Facebook announced it would hire third-party fact-checkers and crack down on inaccurate posts that may have helped sway voters toward Trump. 

In 2017, three mental evaluations—two in June and one in July—were conducted. That year also saw a missing person report and a claim of battery. 

In 2018, the fallout from the 2016 election exploded, as Facebook faced significant outrage over its ties to Cambridge Analytica, a data firmed that helped Trump’s team obtain information to build voter profiles. 

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That year, which saw the most calls from Facebook in the past 10 years, spot checks were frequent. In particular, 16 spot checks occurred from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, which involved police conducting brief inspections to ensure campus security and employee safety.  

Around this time, Facebook experienced the largest security breach on its platform, exposing nearly 50 million users‘ data, including that of Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.  

The dramatic increase in calls also came after an incident at YouTube’s San Bruno headquarters in April 2018 where a woman opened fire—injuring three people before fatally shooting herself. 

2018 also saw calls for drunk driving, assault, mental evaluations, hit-and-runs, and someone under the influence of controlled substances. 

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Six calls for lost property were recorded in 2019. Among these calls was when Facebook’s banking data for 29,000 employees, saved on unencrypted hard drives, was stolen from a payroll worker’s car, according to Bloomberg.  

In 2019, calls for theft increased, with seven calls ranging from petty to grand theft. The reports reflect the raised tensions between the campus and residents at the time, as it became common for non-employees to be seen riding the Facebook blue campus bikes around East Palo Alto. 

Facebook also called police over a bomb threat that year.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Meta was one of the first companies to announce they were closing their office. Since the start of remote work, incidents have dramatically decreased.

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However, even without employees on the campus, nine calls were sent to the local police during the remainder of 2020.

On May 13 and July 31, stolen vehicles were recovered on the campus. On Nov. 5, an incident where a weapon was brandished was called in, followed by a spot check the following day. 

That year, police were also called for incidents of spousal abuse and battery. 

In its post-Facebook era, after the company announced its new company brand Meta, officers were dispatched on July 20, 2022 to a tense scene where a security guard narrowly escaped being struck by a vehicle.

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In a separate incident that year, another call for service asked the Menlo Park Police to address a cab driver’s alleged inappropriate touching of an employee.

2022 also saw reports of battery, drug activity, sexual battery, and grand theft. 

This summer, Meta adopted a hybrid model, asking employees to return to the office three times a week. During Meta’s “year of efficiency,” announced by Zuckerberg, the policy change was expected to increase the number of people circulating the campus.  

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Over the ten years, the different campus incidents recorded in the Menlo Park police’s documentation reflect the evolution of Facebook to Meta, from small start-up to internet behemoth.

Of the 911 calls made on the campus, most calls were about hit-and-run incidents or lost property. Ten calls warranted arrest, and a total of 29 arrests were made. 

Since 2013, there have been 15 calls involving mental evaluations.

Out of the 17 spot checks recorded, 16 were done in those two weeks in 2018. One spot check was conducted on Nov. 6, 2020.

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Theft is common every year on the campus, with nine reports of grand theft and 16 of petty theft. 

Thirteen calls in total led to a suspended or revoked license, including nine instances of arrests and two citations given. Five additional calls reported drunk drivers. 

Seven instances of drug activity were reported, with narcotics found four times. Eight calls of assault or battery were made, once with a deadly weapon when a security guard was “struck with a vehicle.”

Of the 239 calls that were logged, 180 resulted in official reports being filed and 29 arrests. 

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Meta did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Dot.

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