Facebook has a 'black people problem,' ex-employee says

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Instead, he got a private message from Ime Archibong, one of the highest-level black employees at Facebook, saying Luckie's experience may not be representative, and taking it personally.

Mark Luckie, formally a strategic partner manager at the company, claimed "Facebook has a black people problem" and routinely and systematically damaged black groups' attempts to communicate on and at the platform. "Although incremental changes are being made, the fact remains that the population of Facebook employees doesn't reflect its most engaged user base".

In it, Luckie outlines how Facebook is "failing its black employees and its black users".

He says he assumes the company's intentions are good and gives credit to Facebook for doubling the number of black employees from 2 percent of the workforce in 2016 to 4 percent in 2018.

In technical roles, that drops to 1 per cent. Facebook published its first workplace diversity report in 2014 alongside a post that said the company was "absolutely committed to achieving greater diversity" in its workforce and across the industry.

At the conclusion of the memo, he lists 10 recommendations, including more cultural competency training for operations teams that oversee content infractions; more focus groups with black users; more recruitment for roles outside of Menlo Park's existing talent pool; and action items for managers and team members after each diversity audit.

The memo was initially sent to all of Facebook's staff on November 8, shortly before Luckie's last day as an employee. He says that Black staffers frequently complained of colleagues or managers calling them aggressive or hostile for how they share their thoughts. "A few black employees have reported being specifically dissuaded by their managers from becoming active in the [internal] Black@ group or doing "black stuff", even if it happens outside of work hours".

That attitude was reflected in the campus-wide culture, Luckie asserts. On a personal note, at least two or three times a day, every day, a colleague at MPK [Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park] will look directly at me and tap or hold their wallet or shove their hands down their pocket to clutch it tightly until I pass. "To feel like an oddity at your own place of employment because of the color of your skin while passing posters reminding you to be your authentic self feels in itself inauthentic".

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'We often find that our experiences are rationalized away or we're made to believe these disheartening patterns are a figment of our imagination, ' he writes.

But this whole furore again reignites the perception that Facebook is more preoccupied with not looking bad, rather than assessing if it is doing bad.

He argues that the company is "failing its black employees and its black users", allegedly by excluding them from events and the important work that guides Facebook's service. "Accounts are suspended indefinitely", he wrote. I was determined to stay there and build.

In response to Facebook's comment, Luckie pointed out on Twitter, however, that "the tone is noticeably different from the only response I received from senior leadership after sharing the post internally".

Luckie has been open about his experience at previous jobs, too.

He described Mr Luckie's note as "pretty self-serving and disingenuous" and accused him of having a "selfish agenda and not one that has the best intentions of the community and people you likely consider friends at heart".

Luckie tagged Facebook's Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg in the post, but said that they never responded.

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