Meta’s Reportedly Combining Teams Responsible for Moderating Ads and User Content

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 In this file photo taken on October 17, 2018, the leader for Brazil elections Lexi Sturdy works in Facebook’s “War Room,” during a media demonstration in Menlo Park, California.

In this file photo taken on October 17, 2018, the leader for Brazil elections Lexi Sturdy works in Facebook’s “War Room,” during a media demonstration in Menlo Park, California.
Photo: Noah Berger (Getty Images)

Meta’s moving to combine two integrity teams in charge of moderating different types of content under one roof. The company says it’ll boost efficiency, while reports say the move is also part of an effort to cut down costs. The significant reorganizing comes as some workers continue to fear the prospect of potential layoffs looming over the horizon.

That’s according to a recent Axios report which cites an internal memo claiming the two teams, Meta’s business integrity unit, and central integrity teams, will merge in the name of driving up efficiencies. The two departments were previously in charge of moderating Meta’s ad and user-generated content respectively. Meta confirmed the report with Gizmodo. Now, the estimated 3,000 employees will operate under one centralized unit run by Meta Chief Information Security Officer Guy Rosen, who previously headed the central integrity unit.

In a statement sent to Gizmodo, a Meta spokesperson said the company is, “unifying these Integrity teams to leverage their shared learnings to more effectively and efficiently deliver on our commitment to protecting and supporting people and businesses across Meta’s platforms.”

The spokesperson said the goal of the merger is to create a unified and optimized integrity team that can perform consistently and build off of shared learnings. Meta hopes this integration will help the company better integrate advanced tools and AI systems across both content moderation and ad review.

Keeping with that theme of unity and simplicity, Meta will also bring together its customer and business support teams. In theory, this should foster a more cohesive customer support experience across Meta’s range of products and services.

Any structural changes to the company’s integrity units provide good reason for pause given Meta’s, let’s just say less than stellar track record with content moderation. As Axios notes, the merger likely means the new unit will use the same tools and standards to moderate content across its platform, regardless of whether the content’s a McDonald’s ad or your uncle’s latest unhinged rant. The new team will also reportedly have consistent policies intended to make it easier to comply with regulatory challenges.

Luckily for workers in those departments, Meta said no jobs are being removed as part of the merge, a troubling worry Meta and other tech employees have feared for months.

The threat of layoffs still looms large

Meta has hinted at the possibility of layoffs or structural changes to the company’s business throughout what’s been a tumultuous 2022. In June, the company reportedly moved to slash hiring of engineers by 30%. Just weeks later senior Meta executives reportedly advised company managers to identify and, “move to exit,” poor-performing employees.

One need only glance at Meta’s recent financials to some of the factors driving the downturn. In February, the company reported its first quarterly decline in daily active users in the company’s 18-year history. The bleeding has only worsened since then. In June the company reported its first ever decline in year-over-year revenues. Meta’s seemingly unyielding growth machine has finally shown signs of cracking, leading some workers to naturally worry if their jobs are in jeopardy.

“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history,” Zuckerberg reportedly said during a leaked Q&A with employees over the summer. The CEO went on to essentially encourage poor-performing employees to see themselves off so he didn’t have to.

“I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is okay with me,” Zuckerberg said. “Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here.”

Many of the problems plaguing Meta aren’t unique to its business. Tesla, Snap, Netflix, Coinbase, and Robinhood have all announced layoffs in recent months, citing reasons ranging from rising inflation to a disastrous crypto market. It’s not just start-ups and inherently volatile crypto firms feeling the burn either. Even major entrenched institutions like Google have strongly hinted at the possibility of layoffs in the near future.



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