Just a little a year after drumming up their own ‘responsible innovation’ efforts, Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms, Inc (NASDAQ: META) has cut the team tasked to lead these efforts, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Meta’s abandonment of its Responsible Innovation team, which is supposed to police potential ethical issues caused by their products Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, comes at a time when the company remains under legal scrutiny for its policies and practices, especially those concerning user privacy.
Meta spokesman Eric Porterfield told the WSJ that the tech giant remains committed to the goals set by the Responsible Innovation team. But the team, made up of around two dozen employees, including engineers and ethicists, did not get the company’s commitment that they would all have new jobs. Although Porterfield said that most of the team’s members would be spread around the company to do similar work.
Porterfield added that the company deemed that resources for safe and ethical product design are better spent on more issue-specific teams.
The Responsible Innovation team is one of the casualties as Meta looks for ways to cut costs. In July, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a slowdown in hiring and implied the possibility of layoffs, saying that there are “a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” after reporting its first-ever revenue decline since going public in 2012.
The company continues to struggle with shrinking profits from its core advertising business, and its share value has been slashed by almost half since the beginning of the year.
Meta last traded at $167.98 on the Nasdaq.
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