Zuck's Priorities: Facebook Disbands 'Responsible Innovation' Team that Monitored 'Downsides' of Company
Facebook (now known as Meta) has reportedly disbanded its Responsible Innovation team, which previously worked to address concerns about the possible downsides of its products.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has disbanded its Responsible Innovation team, which previously aimed to address concerns about the possible downsides of Facebook products.
The team included around two dozen engineers, ethicists, and others who worked with internal product teams and outside privacy specialists, academics, and platform users to address potential concerns about new products and alterations to Facebook and Instagram. Mark Zuckerberg introduces Meta (Facebook) Mark Zuckerberg surrounded by guards ( Chip Somodevilla /Getty) A Facebook spokesperson stated that the company remains committed to the team’s goals and most of the former team members will continue to work at the company in different divisions.
The spokesperson said that the company believed that its ethical product design resources could be better spent on issue-specific teams.
The disbanding of the team comes as Meta faces a number of issues including the downturn of its core digital advertising business and a slowdown in hiring at the company. Mark Zuckerberg’s attempts to pivot the company to focus on his vision of a digital metaverse are also taking their toll on the company, as Breitbart News has previously reported. Margaret Gould Stewart, the vice president overseeing the Responsible Innovation team, wrote a post for a company blog last year titled, “Why I’m optimistic about Facebook’s Responsible Innovation efforts.” In the June 2021 post, Stewart wrote: “We design our products with a privacy-first approach and partner with experts in civil rights, accessibility, human rights, and safety, as well as academic institutions, governments, and people who use our products, like you.” Zvika Krieger, who lead the team before leaving Facebook earlier this year, said that the team’s efforts were broader than other safety and integrity-related work at the company. Krieger said that the team consulted with over 100 product teams and cited the team’s involvement with the Facebook dating team’s decision to avoid including a filter that would let users target or exclude potential love interests based on race. Read more at the Wall Street Journal here. Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan.
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