On the heels of an already tumultuous week for Facebook — with another executive exit and European authorities demanding CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify about alleged misuse of personal data — the social media giant is accused of having a “black people problem.”
In a memo published Tuesday on Facebook, a former employee of the company, who quit this month, Mark Luckie, wrote that despite some “incremental changes,” the fact still remains that the “population of Facebook employees does not reflect its most engaged user base”—which is African Americans.
“There is often more diversity in Keynote presentations than the teams who present them. In some buildings, there are more “Black Lives Matter” posters than there are actual black people. Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing,” Luckie wrote in his piece, entitled, “Facebook is failing its black employees and its black users.”
In fact, Luckie said that black people are far outpacing any other group on the platform “in a slew of engagement metrics.”
According to research commissioned by Facebook, 63 percent of African-Americans use Facebook to communicate with family and 60 percent use it to communicate with friends at least once a day.
“Black people are driving the kind of meaningful social interactions Facebook is striving to facilitate,” he added.
In response to the memo, Anthony Harrison, a Facebook spokesperson, told FOX Business, “Over the last few years, we’ve been working diligently to increase the range of perspectives among those who build our products and serve the people who use them throughout the world. The growth in representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed.”
Harrison added the company wants to fully support all employees when there are “issues reported” and when there may be micro-behaviors that don’t add up.
“We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company,” he said.
On Monday, another Facebook executive announced that he was stepping down after seven years as chief business officer of WhatsApp, which is owned by the social media company.
"It is time to move on, but I cannot be more proud of how WhatsApp continues to touch people in so many different ways every day. I am confident that WhatsApp will continue to be the simple, secure & trusted communication product for years to come," he wrote on Facebook.
His exit, however, comes in the wake of a number of high-profile executive departures. Earlier this year, the two co-founders of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, left the Facebook-owned app, while Oculus co-founder Brendan Iribe made his exit in October.