Departing Facebook engineer accuses tech giant of 'profiting off hate'

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A former Facebook engineer published a blistering resignation letter on Tuesday, accusing the tech company of "profiting off hate" and choosing "the wrong side of history."

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In the 1,300-word document obtained by The Washington Post, Ashok Chandwaney –­ whose pronouns are they, them and theirs –­ wrote that they were quitting because they could "no longer stomach contributing to an organization that is profiting off hate in the U.S. and globally."

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Chandwaney, 28, posted the letter to Facebook's internal employee network, stating that it was their last day after five-and-a-half years with the social media giant.

In a scathing rebuke, Chandwaney detailed precisely how they believed Facebook has failed to uphold its own five core values when it comes to addressing hate on the platform.

Their five values are: "Be Bold," "Focus on Impact," "Move Fast," "Be Open," and "Build Social Value."

"[T]he absence of them in the company's approach to hate has eroded my faith in this company's will to remove it from the platform," Chandwaney said.

Their letter is full of links to specific incidents in which they believed Facebook has failed, including not removing an event that critics said encouraged violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and obstructing an investigation into genocide in Myanmar.

Chandwaney also cited President Trump's May 29 "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" post, which Facebook has refused to remove.

"I've been told repeatedly 'Facebook moves much faster than {company x}. In my work, moving fast looks like bias to action: when presented with a problem, I execute towards a solution with haste. Sometimes this has meant learning about a bug in a meeting, and fixing it before the meeting is over," they continued. "The contrast between that and our approach to hate on platform is astonishing."

Lastly, Chandwaney expressed disillusionment with Facebook's inaction regarding social justice and civil rights.

The company's two-year-long civil rights audit concluded that Facebook had made decisions that were "serious setbacks for civil rights."

"What I wish I saw [was] a serious prioritization of social good even when there isn’t an immediately obvious business value to it, or when there may be business harm that comes from it," wrote Chandwaney.

"It seems that Facebook hasn’t found the business value to be had in aggressively pursuing the existing credible strategies to remove hate from the platform," they wrote, adding that they assumed the "best intent of all my coworkers including leadership."

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Chandwaney is not the first employee – out of more than 52,000 total – to cite questions about Facebook's morality as reasons for resigning.

In June, Engineers Timothy Aveni and Owen Anderson left amid companywide protests over President Trump's posts.

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