Facebook is said to be restricting access to certain internal message boards
Facebook is reportedly trying to reduce insider leaks by making some of its internal online discussion groups private instead of public by removing some groups. According to The New York Times, Facebook said on Tuesday that it's restricting who may view and participate in "Integrity" groups that focus on platform safety and protecting elections.
Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, revealed thousands of documents and internal communications that showed Facebook was aware of the dangers of its products but downplayed these consequences publicly. Legislators from across the political spectrum have so far expressed a renewed desire to see Facebook held accountable.
Last week, Haugen appeared before a US Senate subcommittee and claimed that Facebook's products "harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy." Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Haugen's testimony, saying it presented a "false picture" of the social network.
"As everyone is probably aware, we've seen an increase in Integrity-related leaks in recent months," an engineering director wrote in the announcement, which was reviewed by the Times. "These leaks aren't representative of the specifics and complexities of our work and are often taken out of context, resulting in our effort being misrepresented internally."
Following Tuesday's announcement, it was reported that some of the discussion groups will be reviewed to remove individuals whose work isn't related to safety and security. According to the Times, the changes are expected to occur in "the coming months" and "with the expectation that sensitive Integrity discussions will take place in closed, curated forums in the future," the company said.
Facebook on Wednesday denied the move, saying that information leaks affected the company's work.
"Leaks decrease the effectiveness, efficiency, and morale of the teams working every day to address the challenges that come with running a platform for billions of people," Facebook spokesperson Tracy Clayton said in op-ed. They may also put employees working on sensitive subjects externally at risk and lead to complex topics being misrepresented and misunderstood," says Brecht.
Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.