Black Facebook allege continued racism at work

Employees have expressed anger and sadness over their workplace culture

Black Facebook allege continued racism at work

Several black Facebook employees have released an anonymous open letter that alleges the company has allowed a culture of discrimination to exist within its confines.

In an article featured on Medium, the group known as “FB Blind” aired its grievances against Facebook’s alleged failure to address the concerns of black staff members.

“On the inside, we are sad,” FB Blind wrote. “Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here.”

The letter highlighted how workers claim to have been subjected to various racist and discriminatory acts, which company leaders allegedly continue to ignore.

READ MORE: Frustrated ex-Facebook employee goes public with racism claim

One story involved an employee who was supposedly told by two white colleagues to clean up the mess that they left after eating breakfast. When the employee tried to report the incident to their manager, they were ignored and told to “dress more professionally” instead.

Another incident detailed how some managers would go so far as to make up negative feedback about their subordinates. They would approach other workers or even fellow managers to provide comments that would sway opinion against targeted employees.

The letter also included an instance in which an employee’s performance review was supposedly tainted by their manager, and another in which a worker was accused of being disrespectful by their manager for speaking on a matter that they were said to be an expert on.

FB Blind said black workers of different genders weren’t the only ones victimized by racism and discrimination at Facebook. Some Latinx and Asian women also experienced discriminatory behaviour from their colleagues.

READ MORE: Facebook employees at war over 'intolerant' culture

Facebook employees have also struggled to grow in their careers within the company, they said. One disgruntled worker described how they were limited in what they could do. They were told by their manager to just follow orders and be subservient to their superiors if they wished to be promoted.

Even the company’s Blind app didn’t do the workers any favour. The platform was supposed to allow Facebook staff to share their experiences anonymously. However, it supposedly only led to more discriminatory behaviour directed toward black employees.

“Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments,” FB Blind wrote.

“It's in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted.”

FB Blind underscored the difference in treatment between people of colour (POCs) and whites. The group pointed out that bad behaviour from non-POCs are often elevated, while normal behaviour from POCs are viewed as abnormal or aggressive. 

The publishing of the open letter coincided with Facebook’s annual Black@ event, which was meant to celebrate the importance of inclusion and empowerment.

As part of the global event, employees were also encouraged to share their experiences working at the social media company on Instagram, using the “Share Black Stories” filter.

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