Facebook Axed Anonymous Company Chat Group Over Harassment
Facebook shut down an internal discussion group at the end of last year, after employees reportedly used the anonymity within the group to make racist and sexist comments.
The closure of the “Facebook Anon” group, less than two years after its formation, was reported Wednesday by Business Insider and then The Wall Street Journal. It took place in December, following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency.
The group was created as an employee side-project and used to discuss various matters without any of the participants having to identify themselves—something that is famously banned on the world’s leading social network.
According to the reports, the forum was increasingly used by right-leaning Facebook employees ahead of the election. Per the WSJ‘s sources, some posts claimed the company “lowers the bar” for female engineers in order to boost its diversity stats. Arguments ensued.
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In a statement given to the publications, Facebook HR chief Lori Goler said the employees-only group violated Facebook’s broader real-names policy. The Journal noted that Facebook Anon wasn’t the only victim of this policy—a anonymous group set up for women and minority employees to air grievances was also shut down.
The news comes after Google fired an employee, James Damore, who circulated a highly controversial memo criticizing that company’s diversity policies. In early 2016, Facebook took a lot of flak for its alleged downplaying of right-leaning stories in its trending news list.