Dozens at Facebook unite to challenge its ‘intolerant’ liberal culture

Microsoft Ender W.
Aug 28, 2018 46 Comments

"The post went up quietly on Facebook's internal message board last week. Titled "We Have a Problem With Political Diversity," it quickly took off inside the social network.

"We are a political monoculture that's intolerant of different views," Brian Amerige, a senior Facebook engineer, wrote in the post, which was obtained by The New York Times. "We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology."

Since the post went up, more than 100 Facebook employees have joined Mr. Amerige to form an online group called FB'ers for Political Diversity, according to two people who viewed the group's page and who were not authorized to speak publicly." 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/facebook-employees-challenge-intolerant-liberal-ulture-.html

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TOP 46 Comments
  • Microsoft JesusSatan
    "The aim of the initiative, according to Mr. Amerige's memo, is to create a space for ideological diversity within the company."

    So in essence they want a space for themselves where they can feel safe from different opinions...? Hmmmmm kind of sounds like a... safe...space
    Aug 28, 2018 5
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      Or, I take it, a "safety in numbers" approach. I assume they're perhaps one among many peer groups that organize themselves similarly.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • New fRSo03
      What a cancerous way to think. Having political diversity doesn't mean they have a safe space. It means that not everyone has a far left liberal sjw position but a spectrum of which they all can equally voice opinions.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft JesusSatan
      Lol like when non-binary gendered people want a space where they can talk without their innate sense of self being questioned? Hmmm
      Aug 28, 2018
    • New fRSo03
      I see the bait, lol. Doesn't make it any less cancerous.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      It's sad that an entire population of people feel that way in general...it's perhaps more puzzling than sad that they should feel that way still in the tech industry.

      And that's really the point here. There's a matter of sponsorship and "awareness" promotion involved that's defensible in one important sense: businesses are free to subsidize some things to the exclusion of others. But it's another matter entirely that there's open hostility to expressions from people who live and view life differently. Once you provide a forum of expression for one narrow set of beliefs and identities, people of other beliefs and walks of life will want to participate in their own way, which can make for a dissonant work culture. I feel like that's what you sign up for when you open up a Pandora's Box of philosophical sponsorship at any company that's not prepared for opposing viewpoints wanting similar respect. And of course they're going to resent being effectively told to "shut up and color". I think that's mostly what this is about.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Now that this guy is “out” he’d better prepare for the deluge. The media will eat this controversy up big time.
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      I don't think they'll fire the guy right away. His coworkers and senior colleagues will perhaps isolate him until someone in that group says or does something stupid to discredit any argument they might make, and *then* they'll get the boot.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Oracle long haul
    They want diversity. This isn’t rocket science. Hasn’t “diversity” been the mantra of the left for years? But, won’t be surprised if this guy gets Damore’d by the “tolerant” left at FB.
    Aug 28, 2018 0
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield / Mgmt
    blah2008

    Blue Cross Blue Shield Mgmt

    BIO
    SF-based PM/Mgr. health tech space; former VC/PE senior
    blah2008more
    Ideology and thought are not a class we need to protect.
    You’re welcome to you thinking and welcome to express it, but in our business we (the organization) have a stance on certain issues and have the right to ask you to shut it.
    We ask people to change the way they think at work all the time, offer training about critical thinking, inclusivity and company methodologies all the time. You don’t adopt them, you get moved out.
    I’m not saying we should ask your political opinions in hiring selection or performance evaluation, but if you share them, be prepared to have people hold you accountable when they find your political POV unacceptable and be prepared to defend your stance with cogent arguments.
    Same goes for Dems and liberals working at conservative organizations (e.g. Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby or Koch Industries).

    As an FYI, you can always quit and find another organization better aligned to your thinking, start your own company or do political advocacy outside of the office (may have to clear that with the legal/ethics group).
    Aug 28, 2018 8
    • Oracle long haul
      Irrelevant comparison to your so-called conservative orgs. FB is all about (only about) ideas and postings on the internet (not about how many chicken sandwiches you want). In the arena of posting thoughts and ideas, etc. - and as the dominant player, diversity of thought should be allowed by FB. And no, I don’t believe the government should be involved in this.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      But don't even social media companies get to decide to adopt a set of "community standards" and decide what they are?
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Amazon ProfOak
      Nobody should have to work alongside someone advocating for their genocide. “Diversity of opinion” is a dog whistle.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Blue Cross Blue Shield / Mgmt
      blah2008

      Blue Cross Blue Shield Mgmt

      BIO
      SF-based PM/Mgr. health tech space; former VC/PE senior
      blah2008more
      There was no comparison to conservative orgs, just known examples of them. What you allow or support your employees doing is different than what you allow or support your customers and users to do.
      I’m not suggesting that FB sensor any ideas (aside from those that are deemed illegal) on their platform, though I’m not opposed to thoughtful, reasoned commentary on what their users and advertisers post.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Amazon ProfOak
      “You have to work alongside Hispanic people, and you’re not allowed to call them inferior at work.”
      “Wow, keep kicking the white man when he’s down why don’tcha?”
      Aug 29, 2018
    • Facebook kintobor
      "Ideology and thought are not a class we need to protect"

      In the State of California, it turns out they are.
      Aug 29, 2018
    • Amazon ProfOak
      Aug 29, 2018
    • Facebook kintobor
      Nope, there are serious methodological problems with that study: https://andrewgelman.com/2018/05/14/status-threat-explain-2016-presidential-vote/
      Aug 29, 2018
  • Autodesk yJGj20
    Ironic that the liberal facebookers ruined the election for the liberal candidate.
    Aug 28, 2018 4
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      I see it this way: the Russians exposed a vuln in American culture. Our inability to think through issues rationally and assuming good faith. We're persuaded more by outrage and slogans... makes us temperamentally susceptible to psychological manipulation. Mistrust will destroy us long before Russian interference will. They're just exploiting an obvious weakness.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Autodesk yJGj20
      Totally agreed.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft JesusSatan
      How much did Russians spend on the election?
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      Tree fiddy.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Google / Mktg QuadLovin
    So what he wants is for people to hit the like button on his views and not the frownie face. Poor baby. He should defend his views and not seek preferential treatment from big bad internet bullies.
    Aug 28, 2018 6
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      The story doesn't exactly say what their demands are, or if any have been made. I'm not sure they're in much of a position to be making demands anyway. They're just self-organizing to make a statement.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Google / Mktg QuadLovin
      Which is dumb? At least have a charter of demands before you go whining about injustices at not being able to worship faux news at work
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      Dumb or not, provocative expression has been a common form of protest since the civil rights era, sometimes to evoke an overreaction, hence making their point. Now that this is public, perhaps the worst thing an already-embattled FB can do right now is retaliate right away. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess where they think this is going to go.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Indeed 60minit
      What they want is to be able to discuss without being demonized and silenced or even fired, which is what happens nowadays. They even explicitly call for engagement with people of opposing views. The opposite of what you claim. Good for them on that bravery. If your position is strong, expose it to criticism and discussion rather than keeping it from ever being questioned.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Google / Mktg QuadLovin
      Why Should your political views be part of a work discussion? Shouldn’t you do what you want outside of work as long as you are not breaking any laws. I agree that there should be no retribution if the employees values do not reflect the employer when the employee expresses it outside work forum.
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      Maybe it doesn't belong in the workplace. But what some people include in the category of "politics" is one thing... because by some accounts, Inclusion/Diversity offices are inherently political in their views, who further operate as something resembling a business-subsidized "re-education" program. Which then leaves some observers asking, How is any of this *not* simply tacked-on ideology that isn't actually related to our business of making Widgets?

      And the question is not all that irrelevant given the fact that these offices often inject sponsored ideology into the workplace.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Microsoft ThisOrThat
    “The new group has upset other Facebook employees, who said its online posts were offensive to minorities.”

    Lol how?
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Uber / Eng
      @w@

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Capital One
      @w@more
      Everything can be offensive
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Microsoft Ender W.
    OP
    My one big question is, why is Congress making *any* inquiries about perceived biases of a private corporation? Each company has a culture, and cultures are inherently value-laden....which bias them towards some values and away from others. How is it Congress's job to dictate culture?
    Aug 28, 2018 2
    • LinkedIn / Eng gTBK55
      With many companies I would agree with you.

      Facebook's platform specifically gives them an incredible amount of influence over national discourse though.

      It is the digital town square.

      They are lucky this engineer has started this conversation inside the company.

      They and other social media sites are speeding towards being regulated if they cannot find ways to be more impartial.

      The government has not stepped in yet but will be inclined to without more tolerance for non hard leftist views and transparency into what is grounds for silencing.

      Their first step to handling this internally is have more political diversity of thought in house

      For more on the discussion

      https://youtu.be/nVVbjlv4j6Y
      Aug 28, 2018
    • Microsoft TrumpWins
      You could argue that the influence over society that social media companies have is a national security issue. The rise of extremism and division in this country over the past decade is in my opinion a direct result of companies like Facebook and Twitter
      Aug 28, 2018
  • LinkedIn / Eng gTBK55
    Grabs popcorn 🍿
    Aug 28, 2018 0
  • New / Eng
    TmFH62

    New Eng

    BIO
    Crypto
    TmFH62more
    As a libertarian, liberals get confused because I support doing drugs and changing your gender, but then get angry because I hate socialism and taxes
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Microsoft JesusSatan
      Because as soon as they realize that you call yourself a libertarian they realize you're an idiot.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Microsoft OxOy42
    lol Damore this fuck.
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Indeed 60minit
      Are your beliefs so fragile that you have to go cryibg to Mommy Facebook to shield them from even encountering opposing views?
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Cisco rkHq23
    How long until he is fired
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Microsoft Ender W.
      OP
      Time to start an office pool.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Salesforce rcno01
    Why do people want to talk about politics at work, like what's the point ? People are asking for trouble.
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Google / Mktg QuadLovin
      Exactly then why not religion. There are some things that belong in the personal or outside work settings. You won’t talk about your sex life at work, or sexual preference, or health related issues, so why is there an expectation that you can discuss your politics at work.
      Aug 28, 2018
  • Facebook cspee
    150 people out of 30,000. Good luck sir. We discuss diverse political views often... don’t need some yahoo trying to incite discourse for no reason.
    Aug 28, 2018 1
    • Microsoft ThisOrThat
      You claim you discuss diverse views and in the same sentence you talk about a diverse view as inciting discourse
      Aug 28, 2018

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