Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Facebook headquarters.
The social media giant has endured 12 months of unprecedented scrutiny for all the wrong reasons; from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to Project Atlas, Facebook finding itself swallowed by more bad press is no longer a question of if, but when.
Yesterday’s announcement that the company posted a record US$6.88 billion in fourth-quarter profits in spite of relentless media pressure only thickens the plot further.
Through all this, one has to wonder what Facebook employees are thinking. Are staff under any more pressure than normal? Has scandal after scandal taken its toll, forcing employees to question the ethics of their workplace? Or is everyone happy to follow CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s lead, believing in their work as long as the profits keep rolling in?
An unnamed Qualcomm employee was evidently wondering the same thing when they invited Facebook staff to share their thoughts on Blind, an app that facilitates anonymous workplace discussion between verified employees.
And, well, the ensuing thread is pretty revealing.
“Wondering how much this is really affecting the folks working at FB,” the unnamed Qualcomm employee wrote, linking to a story detailing Apple’s decision to temporarily disable Facebook’s internal iOS apps.
One response from a Facebook employee read, “The constant negative media attention is annoying, but I make 5x what I did at Oracle 8 years ago. And frankly, I’d be more embarrassed to tell people that I worked at Oracle than FB.”
Another response put it even more bluntly.
“Morale is super high,” they wrote. “We are paid a ton. Looking forward to my yearly bonus of $100k. Fuck ethics. Money is everything.”
The last five words aren’t exactly something you’d like to hear from an employee of the biggest social media company on the planet and one that thrives on the personal data of its 2.2 billion monthly active users.
Another Facebook employee deflected the heat by claiming Apple’s decision was merely an attempt to divert attention from the major FaceTime bug that has dominated headlines this week.
“Anything to take the heat off the FaceTime security breach,” the user wrote, with another Facebook worker adding, “That’s the only logical reason I can think of for why they’ve suddenly started caring about an app/program that’s been available since 2016.”
Not willing to stand by and see their employer’s name besmirched, an Apple employee hit back.
“FB guy- how do you sleep at night,” they asked. “How much data you want to steal? Don’t you already have enough.”
In case you’re uncertain as to the authenticity of these messages, Blind verifies users through their corporate email address – however, it does not confirm job title or anything else relating to their role within the company. For our own entertainment, let’s assume it’s Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook sledging each other on a collection of burner accounts.