After Whistle-Blower Goes Public, Facebook Tries Calming Employees

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Executives also circulated a list of topics for discussion, a copy of which The Times received, so that workers know what to say when friends and family ask them about “recent events.” The list included denial that Facebook prioritizes profit and growth over people’s safety, and that the company called on the government to take action.

During Mr. Zuckerberg’s regular meeting with employees on Thursday, he defended Facebook and challenged Ms. Haugen’s characterizations, according to the recording of the meeting.

“We care deeply about issues such as safety, well-being and mental health,” he said at one point. “So when you see press coverage that just distorts our work and takes it out of context and then uses that to tell false stories about our motives, it’s really hard and upsetting to see.”

Between questions about serious failure of Facebook on MondayWhen all of the company’s apps became unavailable globally for more than five hours and there were problems related to labor certification for foreign employees, Mr. Zuckerberg also argued that Facebook spends much more on research and security than larger companies such like Google, Apple and Microsoft.

He assured the staff that Facebook would get better over time.

“The road to the long term is not smooth, is it? It’s not like this straight line, ”said Mr. Zuckerberg. “You know, sometimes you get hit.”

Outside of the meeting, staff argued violently about Ms. Haugen and her statements. Some have argued that Facebook should invite her to speak at a company meeting, according to reports viewed by The Times. One of them said that her testimony was a “wake-up call” for Facebook, which is long overdue.

But other workers questioned Ms. Haugen’s motives, her biography, and her qualifications. In one internal communication, an employee said that Ms. Haugen was “clueless.” Some said she lacked technical knowledge.

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