Facebook has a “black people problem,” according to a former black manager at the company.
On Tuesday, the manager, vocal diversity advocate Mark Luckie, made public a memo he sent to Facebook’s global staff before leaving the company on November 16.
In the memo, Luckie said black people make up some of the most active users on Facebook but the company itself is not nearly as diverse. Black employees now make up 4% of the US workforce in 2018, up from 2% in 2016.
“The population of Facebook employees doesn’t reflect its most engaged user base,” wrote Luckie, who worked as a partnerships manager at Facebook. “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, who worked at the company for a year, said that Facebook’s lack of black representation among employees has an adverse impact both on users and its black staffers.
“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,” Luckie wrote, linking out to past media coverage of the issue.
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