A leaked 2016 memo written by a top executive created a chaos among Facebook employees. Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, as well as the author of the memo, defended the social network’s growth at any cost, even if it costs someone’s life.
“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,” the memo says.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Mr. Bosworth have since denied the memo that was published by BuzzFeed News on Thursday. However, this incident created a huge uproar among the employees, making them calling on internal message boards to find out who leaked this memo to the media. Besides, Mr. Bosworth deleted this memo from where it had originally been posted after being leaked to the media. Late Thursday, he also said on Twitter that he didn’t agree with what was written in the memo.
“And I didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it.” He said. “The purpose of this post, like many others I have written internally, was to bring to the surface issues I felt deserved more discussion with the broader company.”
In a statement given to BuzzFeed, Mark Zuckerberg said,
“Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things. This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. 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.”
Over the past few weeks, Facebook has been facing a lot of rage after Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm wrongfully harvested data from 50 million users. Whether Mr. Bosworth agrees or not with what he wrote, the sentence “we connect people” sounds quite scary to me.