Leaks are a big concern for Facebook, especially after the Senate testimony of whistleblower Frances Haugen. The New York Times is reporting that the company wants to limit access to a handful of employees in the wake of these revelations.
The company is reportedly limiting access to a few internal groups including ones that handle “sensitive” topics like elections and public safety. Somewhat ironically, the steps taken to reduce leaks have leaked in a report. This also illustrates the severity of the problems facing the social media juggernaut.
During Haugen’s Senate testimony, we learned that many of the important documents she provided to Congress and the U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) were easily accessible to a large number of the company’s employees.
Among the numerous documents were internal memos as well as slides detailing the company’s research relating to teen mental health. Some of the documents also revealed Facebook’s handling of misinformation.
“Sensitive Integrity discussions will happen in closed, curated forums in the future,” the company said in an internal memo.
The SEC could start investigating Facebook following Haugen’s Senate testimony
The report (via) claims that the documents were easily accessible to FB employees because of the company’s longstanding culture of openness and transparency. However, the company may now be changing its rules to a certain extent. Facebook is reportedly making some groups private while removing employees “whose work isn’t related to safety and security.”
NYT reports that some Facebook employees are concerned that cutting access to teams could have a negative impact in the long run.
Although Facebook dismissed a bulk of Haugen’s claims, these developments illustrate the impact it had on the company. The SEC is now seemingly investigating Haugen’s claims. Separately, Facebook has taken a step back from some of its ventures in the midst of regulatory concerns.
The social media giant recently expanded its “less political” News Feed to 75 countries, taking the total number of countries to over 80. The feature first went live in countries like the U.S, Costa Rica, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, and Indonesia. Facebook said it won’t roll out this feature in regions “with elections and conflicts,” in a bid to avoid controversy.