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Facebook Faulted by Staff Over Jan. 6 Insurrection: ‘Abdication’

Employees and the company’s own research highlight ways Facebook failed to police its platforms ahead of the siege on the Capitol

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How Lies and Algorithms Fueled the U.S. Capitol Insurrection

As rioters breached barricades and bludgeoned police with flagpoles before storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, some employees at Facebook Inc. took to an internal discussion board to express shock and outrage.

Many of the posts were imbued with a dawning sense that they and their employer—whose platforms for weeks had spread content questioning the legitimacy of the election—bore part of the blame. 

“I’m struggling to match my value to my employment here,” said an employee as the violence of the afternoon continues. “I came here hoping to affect change and improve society, but all I’ve seen is atrophy and abdication of responsibility.”

The remarks, directed at Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, were included in a package of disclosures provided to Congress in redacted form by lawyers representing Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager. The documents, obtained by a consortium of news organizations including Bloomberg, provide a unique window into a Facebook few outsiders ever see: a stunningly profitable technology firm showing signs of sagging morale and internal strife at least among some employees.