Facebook will hold an emergency meeting to let employees ask questions about Cambridge Analytica

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook has scheduled an open meeting to all employees Tuesday to let them ask questions about the unfolding Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, according to an internal calendar invitation reviewed by The Verge. The meeting, which is scheduled for 10AM PT, will be led by Paul Grewal, the company’s deputy general counsel. Grewal is expected to explain the background of the case, which involves the user profiles of as many as 50 million people being used by Cambridge Analytica as part of its ad targeting efforts during the 2016 election. Grewal is also expected to take questions via a polling feature found on the meeting’s internal event page.

“It isn’t unusual to have these kinds of company discussions about all sorts of timely topics— we do so at least once a week, sometimes twice a week,” the company told The Verge in an email.

While Facebook executives have been active in discussing the Cambridge Analytica story on internal forums, Tuesday’s meeting will represent the first time a large group of employees will have the opportunity to question company leadership live and in person. (The event is also being streamed for remote employees around the world as part of “FYI Live,” a series of live chats featuring company executives organized by Facebook’s internal communications team.)

The move reflects growing unease internally about Facebook’s response to reports published this week in The New York Times and The Guardian. The articles laid out how a researcher at the University of Cambridge created a Facebook app to harvest information about millions of Facebook profiles and improperly gave the data to Cambridge Analytica, in violation of Facebook’s terms of service. Together, they raised fresh concerns about the steps that Facebook takes to protect the privacy of users’ data, drawing bipartisan calls for Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress and sending Facebook stock tumbling more than 10 percent below the all-time high it reached on February 1st.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to last for just 30 minutes. One employee I spoke with said the move felt like a stopgap measure designed to buy the company time until the weekly all-hands meeting on Friday, at which CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to speak.

Zuckerberg has faced criticism both internally and externally for remaining silent about the Cambridge Analytica revelations. “The prevailing sentiment is, why haven’t we heard from Mark?” the employee said.

Update March 20th, 10:51 AM ET: This article has been updated to include comment from Facebook.

Comments

They better roast Mark on this.

Also someone should ask about that whistleblower being banned on all Facebook’s services and social networks. Shady stuff

But it’s time for Facebook to go (or at least be hurt on this)

It hasn’t done much to them in the past.

It will now bc more people are now aware of all the problems in Facebook now

Yeah, let your feelings out in a meeting. Face to face with your execs. They are so full of it. They are selling everyone out, worse than anyone ever imagined. Oh well. People need their social media, I guess.

Ask all the questions you want and get fired later.

Let’s not gloss over the fact that fb is a data collection agency masquerading as a social media site.

Everyone keeps saying this as if its been a big secret. They’re in the advertising business, they always have been. Really if this is your measure of what a social media is then there is no such thing as a social media site. Its all advertising and data companies.

Not saying youre wrong, but I think we need to stop seeing social media/networks as something different than data collections and advertising. Social Media is advertising. Otherwise there would have to be a website or app that collects 0 info on its users to be a "true" social media platform.

Facebook thinks that there will be zero ramifiations for them, and that it can continue to play fast and loose with its users data…

…and they are 100% correct.

Actually, Facebook has every reason to be terrified right now. The tide has done a 180 on them in the past year – all tied to the election and having the platform get weaponized as a tool for misinformation. Their stock price fell yesterday, and regulators world over are sharpening their knives. Things are looking less optimistic for them. They’ll likely avoid major regulation, and they won’t fade away by any means. But business as usual it will not be.

But business as usual it will not be.

I hope you are right, but I`m sceptical.

They way we are seeing people`s data being (mis)used is exactly what Facebook was created for. Its the logical conclusion of the project, we all are, after all, the product that facebooks sells.

So, assuming that, the internal culture of Facebook will always be a stong desire, nay a god given right – to play fast and loose with people`s personal data.

The EU is our best hope of meaningful change being forced on Facebook.

We can only hope that investor and advertiser pressure will make them more careful about sharing too much data with others. The stock is down again.

I’m afraid Zuckerberg will talk himself out of it during hearings, so don’t expect too much from the political pressure, that’ll be non-existent.

Facebook is a data collection company, not a social network.

welcome to 2009

F*ck Facebook.

Seriously screw facebook and more importantly screw Mark Zuckerberg. I want to hit him in his smug face.

But really I dont even know why I still have a facebook. I hardly use it, the people I know hardly use it and the only use I do get out of it is for events. Despite all this i’ll admit I find it hard to think about it getting rid of. Not because I think its good or necessary, but there’s a feeling that i’ll somehow miss something if I do get rid of it. Like an important event or one of two things a year that happen with friends or family that I actually care about. Its not even rational.

Waiting for the news…)

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