Facebook is stepping up its fight against information leaks following the discovery of whistleblower Frances Haugen. According to The New York Times, Facebook is for some internal groups that deal with “sensitive” issues like security and choice. The fact that the change that was made to prevent further leaks immediately leaked is amusing and symbolic of some of the larger problems the company is currently facing.
Ever since Haugen herself as a whistleblower, one of the more significant aspects of her story has been that the documents she submitted to Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission were widely available to employees. The documents included slides detailing the company’s research on teenagers, as well as a number of notes on how the company dealt with VIPs, and other thorny issues.
As The Times points out, the reason why these documents were so easily accessible is that Facebook has long had an open culture that promotes sharing. Employees themselves often go to an internal communication platform, Workplace, to discuss controversial issues facing the company.
But now the social network is moving away from that openness. The company is making some internal groups private and will remove employees “whose work is not related to security,” the report said. “Discussions on sensitive integrity will take place in closed, organized forums in the future,” the company told employees in a letter.
On the one hand, the fact that news of the change leaked immediately seems to corroborate the fact that the company is in fact more permeable than it was a few years ago. But it could also signal growing unrest among employees, some of whom are reportedly concerned that closing down teams working on important issues could ultimately do more harm than good.
It also highlights how much Facebook still suffers from Haugen’s discoveries. In addition to the Senate hearing last week, Haugen is expected to elect a committee to investigate the January 6 uprising, as well as investigate the company. DEC also seems to be her claim.
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