Facebook and its "black problem"

Mark Luckie left Facebook early November, disappointed with the way he felt Blacks were treated

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Mark Luckie


Mark Luckie left Facebook early November, disappointed with the way he felt Blacks were treated

When it rains, it rains – and Facebook's completely sodden year continues to be flooded with accusations of poor governance.

Mark Luckie, a former black Facebook employee who was tasked with managing the firm's relationship with "influencers", said it very clearly: "Facebook has a black people problem."

His 2,500-word memo, published Tuesday, describes what he sees as a culture that speaks of inclusion, but does not practice it. According to Mr. Luckie, in some buildings of the company, there were "more posters" Black Lives Matter "that there are real blacks".

He then explains how he and other black employees have often felt uncomfortable at work. "Black members of Facebook's staff know that by raising their voices we risk compromising our professional relationships and career advancement," he wrote.

Beyond those working for Mark Zuckerberg, Luckie said black Facebook users were also treated unfairly.

"Blacks are discovering that their attempts to create" safe spaces "on Facebook are derailing by the platform itself.

"Non-Blacks report hate speech as a positive effort, although they often do not violate Facebook's terms of service."

Mr. Luckie's comments have spread around social media. And what follows is in addition to what is now familiar: Facebook publishes a conciliatory statement, and then questioned by leaked internal discussions that seem to give a different image.


First, the public statement of Facebook spokesperson Anthony Harrison.

"The growth of the representation of people from more diverse groups, who perform various functions within the company, is a key factor in our ability to succeed.

"We want to fully support all employees when problems are reported and micro-behaviors can add up. We will continue to do everything in our power to become a truly inclusive enterprise. "

But then, the internal leak. Mr. Luckie's post was published on Tuesday, but it was posted on Facebook on November 8. Ime Archibong, Director of Facebook Product Partnerships, responded to this request.

On Tuesday, Luckie posted the response on Twitter, suggesting that Facebook's tone publicly did not necessarily correspond to what he was told internally.

Mr. Luckie appeared to be trying to protect Mr. Archibong's identity by making his name and photo blurry, but he forgot about "Ime" elsewhere on the screen, revealing the source. Mr. Archibong – who is also black – confirmed that he wrote the comments.

He described Mr. Luckie's note as "rather selfish and dishonest" and accused him of "having a selfish agenda and not one that has the best intentions of the community and the people you probably consider. like friends of heart ".

Everyone is naturally entitled to his opinion. And Mr. Archibong spoke for himself, not for the company. And, as is always the case in a very large company, everyone's experience may be different and the examples given are anecdotal.

But all this fury revives the perception that Facebook is no longer worried about not watching bad, rather than evaluate if it's Make wrong. Confinement on contrition.

The bottom line is that the statistics say enough about history: the Facebook community of 2.7 billion users is managed by a workforce where blacks represent only 4% – or 1% if you search specifically developer roles. There is nothing anecdotal about it.


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