Ex-employee accuses Facebook of being racist, writes an emotional memo

First Published 28, Nov 2018, 11:14 AM IST
Facebook racist ex employee Mark Luckie Menlo Park black employees
Highlights

Mark Luckie, a digital strategist and former journalist, alleged that Facebook is racist towards its black employees and users 

Silicon Valley: An ex-employee of Facebook has accused Facebook of failing its black employees and its black users. 

Mark Luckie, a digital strategist and former journalist, alleged that the social media giants exclude their black employees from events and the important work that guides Facebook's service.

Luckie, being a black employee himself, said that he was forced to quit the company within a year, after which he wrote a long memo to the company's staff, which he recently made public on Facebook. 

In the memo, Luckie writes, “Black people are finding that their attempts to create "safe spaces" on Facebook for conversation among themselves are being derailed by the platform itself. Non-black people are reporting what are meant to be positive efforts as hate speech, despite them often not violating Facebook’s terms of service. Their content is removed without notice. Accounts are suspended indefinitely.”

He also wrote that racial discrimination is real at Facebook. At Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, the ex-employee, at least two or three times daily, a colleague would look directly at him and immediately hold their wallet or reach down to their pocket to clutch it tightly until he passed.

“To feel like an oddity at your own place of employment because of the color of your skin while passing posters reminding you to be your authentic self-feels in itself inauthentic,” Luckie wrote. 

According to Bloomberg, the number of black workers in technical jobs at the eight largest tech companies has inched up, to 3.1 percent in 2017 from 2.5 percent in 2014. Not only this, blacks make up just 3 percent of the employees at the top 75 companies in Silicon Valley, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

As for Luckie, he is working on a science fiction podcast in Atlanta and probably will never go back in the tech again. 

Meanwhile, Facebook, in a statement, said it is "doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company."
 

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