Number of the Day

What Facebook Employees Think of Facebook, by the Numbers

Nearly half of the social network’s employees think the company doesn’t have a positive impact on the world

Photo illustration, source: NeONBRAND/Unsplash

51%: That’s the share of Facebook’s more than 49,000 employees who believe the social network is having a positive impact on the world, according to an October internal survey, as reported by Buzzfeed News. That number was down by 23 percentage points from the last semiannual employee survey conducted in May and down by 5.5 percentage points from the same period last year. A human resources leader at the company identified concerns about leadership’s decisions on hate speech and misinformation, and a focus on the wrong metrics, as reasons for the low score.

Despite a seeming lack of faith in the company’s goals, most Facebook employees are still happy to work there, with 69% of them reporting in the same survey that it is a favorable place to work, down only half a point from the year before.

In her evaluation of Facebook and Twitter’s Election Day performance, OneZero staff writer Sarah Emerson notes that Facebook appended warning labels to many of the president’s posts that included misleading claims about the election, as well as to former Vice President Joe Biden’s posts, which didn’t. Emerson also reported that Facebook shut down a pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” group raising funds to challenge election results and promoting violence that had grown to more than 300,000 people.

But Facebook’s role in the election goes far beyond what happened during election week itself. The Wall Street Journal reported that in 2017, Facebook made changes to its newsfeed algorithm that restricted the visibility of left-leaning news outlets like Mother Jones. And fearful of accusations of anti-conservative bias, the social network also repeatedly allowed right-wing accounts to violate its own policies on misinformation.

And that’s just in the U.S.: Misinformation and hate speech have continued to proliferate on the platform in other parts of the world, including India, where Facebook’s head of public policy provided the country’s ruling Hindu nationalist party with favorable treatment on the platform, relaxed hate-speech rules on anti-Muslim comments from a member of the party and three others, and shared a post demonizing Muslims herself (she later resigned).

Few of these scandals or internal conflicts have affected the social media giant’s bottom line. Despite an advertiser boycott during the summer, Facebook saw its revenues grow 22% year-over-year in the third quarter, and its users grow by 12%.

Facebook’s not like America — if you think it’s terrible, you really can just leave.

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