Update: Mark Zuckerberg reacted swiftly to the leaked memo, stating for Buzzfeed that “most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with it strongly.” Zuckerberg added that “We’ve never believed the ends justify the means. We recognize that connecting people isn’t enough by itself. We also need to work to bring people closer together. We changed our whole mission and company focus to reflect this last year.”
A leaked memo from a Facebook insider is adding more fuel to the recent social media fire sparked by Facebook’s silence over Cambridge Analytica’ use of 50 million users private data to shape the outcomes of two elections.
Thursday marked the leak of a memo from Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Vice President of AR/VR. In it, he’s telling other Facebook employees that “all the work we do in growth is justified,” even if “it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies.” Because they still connect people.
If that seems downright outrageous, think again. Bosworth bluntly writes about the company’s “questionable contact importing practices”, effectively not just acknowledging them, but trying to turn them into something necessary, especially with Facebook’ expansion plans to China.
Check out more of leaked memo and judge for yourself:
Maybe someone finds love. Maybe it even saves the life of someone on the brink of suicide.
So we connect more people
That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.
And still we connect people.
The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is *de facto* good. It is perhaps the only area where the metrics do tell the true story as far as we are concerned.
That isn’t something we are doing for ourselves. Or for our stock price (ha!). It is literally just what we do. We connect people. Period.
That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends. All of the work we do to bring more communication in. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.
Andrew Bosworth already took to Twitter to explain his words, but Facebook users around the world remain unconvinced.
My statement on the recent Buzzfeed story containing a post I wrote in 2016 pic.twitter.com/lmzDMcrjv5
— Boz (@boztank) March 29, 2018
On Reddit alone, the leaked memo thread has around 2,000 angry or concerned users responding to Facebook’s “growth at any cost” mentality.
Meanwhile, Facebook employees rally to defend Bosworth. “Leakers, please resign instead of sabotaging the company,” said one insider.