Black Facebook employees say company racism has ‘gotten worse’

Facebook employees say the company is still not treating Black workers right a year after Mark Luckie’s open letter on the issue.

In an open letter shared on Medium on Thursday, at least 12 employees of color said the company has failed to respond to microaggressions and/or targeted vilification of some employees. 

“Not much has changed to ensure that people are recognized, empowered, and overall treated equitably by their managers and peers,” the letter says. “In fact, things have gotten worse.”

It includes testimonies from the 12 past and current employees who shared examples of their managers telling them to tone down or sabotaging performance reviews.

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

Multiple people say their managers focused only on negative feedback or, in one employee’s case, actively sought out negative feedback from the employee’s colleagues. The employee says they reported their manager’s behavior to HR, but the issue was ignored. 

Screenshots shared in the Medium post showed racist conversations taking place on Blind, an app for Facebook employees to anonymously share messages. The screenshots show that 43 users voted in a poll that Black people “complain to get attention” and one user claimed European and Asian people are “much more intelligent” and have higher IQs than Black people.

Screenshots show anonymous racist conversations FB Blind / Medium

“They need to get over it or go to a different company,” one user wrote, referring to employees of color. “Bad enough we are using diversity as a measure for recruiting and lowering our standards.”

The employees of color say they don’t feel safe.

“Bad behaviors from non-POCs are elevated while normal actions from POCs are treated as aggressive, angry, and abnormal,” the Medium post summarized. “Even positive ratings are shared with a negative, threatening tone.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comments. The post warned against the company’s public-facing statements about diversity. 

“Facebook is not doing the best it can, and it will continue to be hostile to POCs as long as middle managers and [individual contributors] in majority groups are not held accountable,” the post warned. 

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H/T the Root

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque

Samira Sadeque is a New York-based journalist reporting on immigration, sexual violence, and mental health, and will sometimes write about memes and dinosaurs too. Her work also appears in Reuters, NPR, and NBC among other publications. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School, and her work has been nominated for SAJA awards. Follow: @Samideque