SAN FRANCISCO – Over the past few weeks, top Facebook executives have convened a series of emergency meetings.
At a meeting last weekend, half a dozen administrators – including Instagram leader Adam Mosseri and Facebook vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg – said they had stopped shutting down Instagram services for children 13 and under – two people said. The meeting. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it was difficult to approve the decision.
The meetings continued this week, and the crowd reported that there was a large group that included Facebook’s “Strategic Response” groups. The executives have been debating what to do about internal research around teenagers and Instagram, and have decided to release some information publicly, but will explain the context.
Facebook has been in turmoil for the past few weeks in an attempt to quell the meetings. Violence erupted after The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles last month claiming that Facebook was aware of the damage. The articles were based on Facebook documents by an unknown whistle driver.
The revelations immediately sparked a wave of criticism from regulators and lawmakers, many of whom were quick to call the company accountable. As the investigation progressed, Facebook delayed its Instagram service for children. On Thursday, Antigos Davis, Facebook’s head of global security, was asked by lawmakers more than two hours about the possible psychological and emotional impact of the service on children.
Top executives on Facebook have been caught in the crossfire, as the collapse spreads across the company and disrupts the “youth group” that oversees the research and development of children’s products, such as Messenger, in interviews with current and former Twelve. Employees not allowed to speak in public.
To address the controversy, Mr. Zuckerberg and Operator Real Sandberg, the CEO, said they had approved decisions on how to respond but deliberately kept them out of public view. The company repeated its “strategic response” to its communications and public relations staff.
According to people familiar with the company’s plans, many of the projects that are expected to be completed by this time have been postponed due to time-consuming efforts.
But some Facebook users are sometimes close to their own employees. This week, the company’s journal has partially reduced its internal research based on its publications, indicating that the findings are limited and inaccurate. Three people said that this angered some of the staff who worked on the study. They gathered in group discussions to protest the unfair behavior, and some threatened to leave privately.
In a group of text messages shared with the New York Times, Facebook information scientists and researchers discuss how to be “ashamed” of their own employer. An employee on a company bulletin board wrote in a post this week: “They are joking about the research.”
“Facebook’s research team is one of the best in the industry,” said Sahar Masachi, a Facebook engineer who left the company in 2019 to work on election loyalty. Instead of attacking their employees, Facebook should empower honest researchers. They will do even more. ”
The conflict is more likely to die. On Sunday, Whistle, a former Facebook employee who leaked the insider, was ready to reveal her identity and discuss the documents in “60 Minutes.” She will then attend a Senate hearing on Tuesday to testify about her findings on Facebook.
Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlster said: We need to improve. ”
Since the publication of the article on September 13, Facebook’s “strategic response” groups, which have faced many crises in recent years, have struggled to respond. The groups, led by the company’s veterans Tucker Bond and Molly Cooler and led by Cleg, have asked for feedback from senior Facebook researchers, the public said. Facebook then backtracked with blog posts claiming the journal articles were inaccurate and out of context.
Executives also met on Facebook to discuss the future of research and two people explained the calls. Some have questioned whether social networking sites should continue to do research, as some companies, such as Apple, have not conducted similar user surveys. Mr. Craig supported the study, the public was there, and others finally agreed.
Mr. Mosseri also spoke to employees about the company’s products to allay fears among teens. Last month, in an Instagram post about “teen safety,” he said he was “proud” of the company’s research on the newspaper article and “investing heavily in safety and security.”
But some employees said the post shared with The Times did little to alleviate their concerns.
“I think this is a problem that needs to be addressed,” said one employee in a widely circulated internal memo. To cover this type of research, our policies are creating difficult political, regulatory, and legal problems for the organization.
Mr Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg both explained that they had endorsed the decisions made in the past few weeks, but said two staff members had remained in the public eye to avoid the negative press.
Last week, Mr Zuckerberg posted a video of himself fencing off an Olympic gold medal with a new pair of sunglasses he shared on Facebook and Ray-Ban, where he could record the video. On Wednesday, Ms. Sandberg posted on her Facebook page the history of small businesses in the United Arab Emirates.
While executives are coping with the setback, some projects have been proposed. Two people who know the effort say that an initiative to promote the Electoral Commission has been delayed.
On Wednesday, after meeting with “Strategic Response” groups and other executives, Facebook on Thursday released a series of research reports based on the journal’s partial stories before the Senate hearing.
Facebook has listed the reports, seemingly lowering the results. In the study, the company added that the title was incorrect, following a slide that states: Instead, he wrote: ”
After the explanations were released, two employees said that Facebook researchers had sent a message that they did not trust each other. Many felt that the notes were thrown – and their tactics – under the bus, the crowd.
Facebook has also moved to block future clues.
A Facebook researcher said a co-worker met with the legal team last week and was asked about a research report he published two years ago. The legal team seems to be hunting down any exploratory research that can be shared with journalists.
He said the manager advised him not to make any inquiries or to do anything that might seem suspicious in his search for certain terms.
Now, as he was told, it was a good time to take a break.