Facebook’s Cult Like Working Atmosphere

By Michael K. Spencer

It’s time we accept the Internet has a boy-king. It’s like if Aquaman was from VR and wielded a lot of ‘likes’.

We knew Google has its share of internal bickering and sexism to put it mildly. But there’s some disturbing reports from former Facebook employees who describe it like a Cult.

Apparently, more than a dozen former Facebook employees detailed how the company’s leadership and its performance review system has created a culture where any dissent is discouraged.

Google hunts down its whistle-blowers with a ‘stitches for snitches’ like policy, but Facebook sounds even more extreme.

Many former employees seem to agree that Facebook’s twice-yearly peer-review system, where employees are “stack-ranked” and assigned a grade by management creates an atmosphere where people are pretending to be happy all the time.

Reliance on peer reviews creates an underlying pressure for Facebook employees to forge friendships with colleagues for the sake of career advancement.

I can understand, when your CEO is practically a dictator of all things and has led your company down a slipper slope of negligence, I would also be pretending to be happy to keep my comfy job. I wouldn’t bat an eyelash on stock plummets or ethical blunders, no not one bit.

A startup that has grown into a behemoth decimating media and advertising a cult like place? You don’t say. Facebook has become many things, but being very good at being self critical is not among them. It’s ironic of course since have you actually even seen Mark Zuckberg wear a really sincere smile?

With savvy COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook has orchestrated for a long time an executive culture that tries to look good and be politically correct. Somehow it’s become maybe the most hated company on the planet in 2018, what that means for 2019 is anybody’s guess.

Let’s review what these folk actually said about working there, shall we:

  • Facebook cultivates an atmosphere which employees feel pressure to place the company above all else in their lives
  • Fall in line with their manager’s orders and force cordiality with their colleagues so they can advance.
  • Several former employees likened the culture to a “cult.”

The tech bro-culture lives, just don’t question anything guys. When the median salary at your company is $240,000 I’d shut up too. When your entire business model is about greed and data harvesting in digital advertising, what kind of a cult would be most efficient to help the boss go global eh?

“There’s a real culture of ‘Even if you are f — -ing miserable, you need to act like you love this place,’ said someone. Sounds a lot like what we do to work in Silicon Valley. How to manipulate employee morale until they have no real agency or creativity left.

This outdated stack-rank system was introduced by management guru and General Electric CEO Jack Welch in the 1990s and adopted by Microsoft until 2013 when the company stopped the practice amid a declining employee morale.

If employees can’t deliver honest feedback to managers and executives, maybe they would have caught all of the scandals before VR boy messed up so badly even his own board didn’t warn him about. The next natural conclusion is when will Mark Zuckerberg learn to fire himself? He’s one of the richest Millennials, it’s not like entitlement comes hard to him.