In the midst of Facebook to stop public attacks from Apple over privacy measures, Facebook employees have expressed their displeasure with the direction of the campaign in the comments Buzzfeed News.
Last week, Facebook launched a campaign in print newspapers stating that it “stands for Apple for small businesses everywhere” and created a website encouraging people to “speak for small businesses”.
Facebook argues that Apple’s privacy changes in iOS 14, which gives users the option to opt out of ad tracking, will hurt small businesses that see an increase in sales from personal ads. However, some Facebook employees are reportedly complaining about what they perceived as a self-serving campaign.
Buzzfeed News Internal commentary from one of Facebook’s private message boards and audio from a presentation to Facebook activists showed staff dissatisfaction about the angle used to attack Apple’s privacy changes. In response to an internal post about Facebook’s advertising chief Dan Levy’s campaign, a Facebook engineer said:
It seems that we are trying to justify doing a bad thing by hiding behind people with a sympathetic message.
Ahead of an internal meeting to explain the justification for the campaign against Apple, Facebook employees asked and voted on a number of questions focusing on the campaign’s results on Facebook’s public image. Among the most popular questions allegedly asked are all expressed doubt or concern:
We are not worried that our attitude is protecting [small- and medium-sized businesses] Would people instead see Facebook as “protecting their own business”?
People want “privacy”, objecting to Facebook will be viewed with cynicism. Do we know that it will be bad PR, and decide to publish anyway?
How do we take a message that looks less serving?
In response, Facebook vice president of product marketing Graham Mudd said the company had been “really clear” that Apple’s changes would have a financial impact on us “apart from small businesses”:
We are not trying to sweep under that rug. We are, you know, a profitable, big company and we are going to customize it and our products through it. But the real people who are going to fall prey to it are small businesses, and that’s why we made them the center of the message.
After the presentation, several Facebook employees were clearly unaffiliated. Some did not understand how Apple’s changes would negatively affect small businesses, while one highlighted that Apple’s changes to privacy could prevent “malicious actors” from tracking people. :
We are not leaving… there can only be those who should be allowed to track people without their consent – any company can do this, even small startups and malicious actors.
The same employee launched a scathing attack on Levi’s post, with a popular meme texting “Are we crooks?”
The same thing I’m hearing over and over again, “It’s bad for businesses,” and I’d really like to say clearly to someone at the top, “People are better off if they don’t know what we are again.” Doing, if we don’t have to tell ourselves about them, if they don’t get the option to opt-in or opt-out of our practices, if we obscure it as much as possible behind interesting features and then get them Do. Accepting tracking at the back end until we get it down. “
Other critics suggested that Facebook encourages opt-ins to attack the notion of an option to opt-in or out, rather than opt-in to a campaign. Levy responded to the criticisms, stating that the campaign was not just “about our business model.”
It’s Apple’s marketing work to do and to assure you that they can decide how the Internet works – even beyond their devices. I am an optimist who works in technology because I think using technology and giving opportunities can be a lever for democratization. Also included for businesses. And if you think this is going to come to a close with personal ads … well, then I disagree.
Other comments from employees said the enthusiastic defense of small businesses was hypocritical, as Facebook has repeatedly mistakenly disabled the advertising accounts of small business advertisers and increasingly uses automated customer support, allowing small businesses from the public Gets a plethora of complaints:
[They] Highlight that we’re probably not doing everything we can to “stand up for small” [businesses]”When we do not provide human customer service support to small advertisers.
Facebook spokesperson Ashley Zandy responded Buzzfeed News, Stressed that the stories of small businesses are Facebook’s priority:
Since starting this effort we have heard from small businesses around the world who are concerned about how these changes can hurt their businesses. Because this is such an important time [small- and medium-sized businesses], We will continue to share those stories with the public and our employees.
Following the launch of the campaign, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit organization that defends civil liberties in the digital world, called criticism of privacy measures related to Facebook.