Facebook Blocks Employees From Reading Controversial Report

Last week, BuzzFeed News obtained a copy of an internal Facebook report that found the company had failed to prevent violent groups from organizing in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. The report’s authors also published it on Facebook’s internal servers, making it broadly available for employees to read. However, after the report became public, many employees were reportedly restricted from accessing it.

“Is there a reason the Workplace Note has been taken down?” one employee wrote. “I suspect employees would prefer to read it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.”

“It’s pretty common that critical writing about the company gets removed under some trumped-up excuse if it gains any internal or external traction, it’s not about the public visibility but the morale effects I imagine,” another said.

In response, Facebook claimed that publishing the report was an accident.

“The authors never intended to publish this as a final document to the whole company,” a Facebook spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “They inadvertently published it to a broad audience and they simply restricted it to the internal working group it was intended for.”

Despite what Facebook says, it looks awfully suspicious that it blocked the report after it became public. It’s easy to understand why the company is being accused of censorship in this case.

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