All Articles Tagged "facebook"

Facebook Hired Only 7 Black Employees In Latest Diversity Count

June 29th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Sukharevskyy Dmytro (nevodka) /

Sukharevskyy Dmytro (nevodka) /

You can count the number of African-American employees Facebook hired in its latest diversity count on your hands — seven, just seven. According to The Guardian, Mark Zuckerberg’s promise to ensure that Facebook reflects the heterogeneity of its 1.4 billion international users fell flat.

Zuckerberg talked our ear off about his efforts to diversify the tech sector.”We have the same talent bar for everyone,” he said, according to USA Today. “But we want to find a disproportionate number of candidates who are women and minorities.” But the newest diversity report shows numbers that Mashable calls “disappointing.”

More than half of the Facebook staff, 55 percent, are White. The proportion of Asian employees skyrocketed from two percent to 36 percent. Latino and Black employment stagnated at four and two percent, respectively.

The most recent Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) report shows that Facebook hired only seven Black employees out of overall headcount increase of 1,231 in 2013. At that time, just 45 Black employees were employed out of a total U.S. workforce of 4,263. Black female staffers increased from 10 to 11 and Black male workers jumped by six to 34.

No Black employees had a seat at Facebook’s senior leadership positions.

From the outside looking in, Facebook Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams admitted that the numbers seem to reflect slothful efforts on diversity, but Williams assures us this is not the case:

“…We are always trying creative approaches that tailor solutions to the challenge of increasing the diversity of our population,” Williams wrote. “While we have achieved positive movement over the last year, it’s clear to all of us that we still aren’t where we want to be. There’s more work to do. We remain deeply committed to building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics.”

Williams said that Facebook has erected several programs to diversify the tech sector, including Facebook University, which invites college freshmen from underrepresented groups to work with Facebook mentors to learn the computer science skills needed to work for the company.

“We are going against hundreds of years of historical inequity,” Williams told The New York Times. “All of our investments will take years to pay off.”

Zuckerberg hinted that diversity is a key component for innovation.

“There’s just so much research that shows that diverse teams perform better at anything you’re trying to do,” CNN Money quotes Zuckerberg. “Companies that are more diverse do better.”

Time To Un-Friend? Should Our Facebook Pages Include Professional Contacts?

April 29th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Have you ever asked yourself why you’re “friends” with certain people on Facebook?

During college, it might’ve been a noteworthy achievement for some to have hundreds or thousands of followers, but what about today? Is it smart to let everyone in on your business?

Like most of you, I use social media outlets like Facebook to interact with friends and family. Modern technology sure does make it easier to stay in touch with folks and abreast of life changes. While the bulk of my “friends list” are people near and dear to my heart, I do have professional contacts among my personal Rolodex. Even though I’m pretty good about filtering content I post, there are times when I have to double check as current events have a way of bringing out emotions.

How many have seen status rants about everything from politics to pop culture? Sure you’re entitled to your opinion and are allowed to express yourself, but I can’t help but think about how what we post–justified or not–can affect our business relationships. Given we wouldn’t discuss certain topics around the water cooler, should this also apply to our social media, or do you think it’s necessary to rethink adding professional contacts?

The news is full of stories involving the consequences of poor choices online. Does anyone remember the girl who got fired before her first day on the job because she thought it was a good idea to complain?

Given current events like the protests and riots in Baltimore and the upcoming political season, I can only imagine the things we’re going to see online. This makes me think about topics close to my heart and whether or not I remember to use my filters properly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed or afraid to state my opinions, I just think certain discussions are better left for people in your circle.

A friend of mine has no issue taking to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and whatever else she can find to express herself. In many cases, she makes wonderful points but doesn’t always use the most tasteful language. As a result, some of her opinions have landed in the workplace because she has colleagues on her list friends. While I certainly don’t think people need to argue over something that happened in a personal space, when you leave the door open for this to happen, it kinda should not be so shocking that it occurs.

As much as Facebook continues to change, one of the things I can appreciate is the ability to have individuals follow you without friending them. Rather than having to worry about a particular list, you can simply mark your posts as “global” if you want them to be available for Joe Public to see.

Facebook has always been more of a “let your hair down” kind of outlet instead of a professional one for me. I leave most of my career-related contacts to LinkedIn but do understand situations where the two mix. Sometimes you build relationships outside of the professional realm with colleagues that make social sharing a reality. Just be careful how much you share or overshare as it might do harm to the good thing you have going.

Are you friends with your boss or co-workers online? If so, does that sway what you post?

We Were All Thinking It: Jada Pinkett Smith Wonders Is Hillary For Black Women?

April 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Jada Pinkett Smith Wonders Is Hillary For Black Women feat

The other day at work we were discussing Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she plans to run for president and whether or not we would vote for her. Immediately, one of my coworkers, a Black woman, as most of us are here are Moguldom, said she wasn’t too sure. Stating that she didn’t know whether or not Hillary was really for us and she didn’t like the way she tried to dog President Obama during the 2008 race.


In my mind, I always thought that after President Obama finished his two terms, I would be ready for Hillary. I would be excited about the first female President. But what I feel these days isn’t quite excitement. It’s more about thinking Hillary (and let’s be real, Bill too), are the lesser of two…or 8 evils.

So during the discussion, I played devil’s advocate because I’m certainly not here for another Bush in office either. Two was far too many.

Still, that doesn’t mean that I am sure Hillary was going to fight for Black people generally or Black women specifically.

And apparently, Jada Prinkett Smith has the same concerns.

This past weekend, she wrote a lengthy Facebook message pondering the question. See what she had to say.

Source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

Does Jada have a valid point? Do you have the same concerns? Are you planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, why or why not?

Is This A Good Idea? Facebook Wants To Host News Content On Its Site

March 25th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook has approached a number of media outlets, including The New York Times and Buzzfeed, in order to explore options for hosting media content on their site.

Social networks have become increasingly popular places for breaking news and other content to pass from person to person around the globe. The New York Times says that with 1.4 billion users, Facebook has become a vital source of traffic for media sites who seek to engage with their readers.

Instead of allowing its users to click out of the Facebook site, Facebook is looking to partner with media outlets to provide the stories, videos and other content right in the social network. The deal would also include some ad sharing profits. By hosting content directly on its social media site, Facebook will change how content is delivered to users.

For instance, Facebook plans to feature articles on the newsfeeds of those who have the interest or in the age group of the media publication’s average consumer even if they’ve never heard or don’t follow a site’s content.

Edward Kim of SimpleReach, an analytics and distribution company says Facebook wants to increase the speed of how users receive news, which would drive up consumer satisfaction and traffic, making the offer more enticing to more outlets. Many media outlets, like Quartz and National Geographic, when asked by The Times for their intentions on the deal by, declined comment. 

A downside for publications would be losing consumer data. When readers click on articles or visit a site, tracking tools help companies outline its target readership numbers. There’s also concern about load time for stories, with Facebook likely working on speeding things up, according to the Times.

But for users, there’s the question of whether they want the social network, which also houses lots of personal connections and insight, to become a mass news feed as well. Are you interested in getting your news from Facebook?

Friend, Can You Spare Some Change? Facebook Letting Users Send Money To Friends Via Messenger

March 19th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Facebook has debuted a new service through which users in the U.S. can send money to friends via its Messenger app.

While this sounds a lot more convenient than using a money transfer service like Western Union, for example, it opens the door for your  “friends” to hit you up for cash. But according the social network giant, the tool will allow people to “beam” money to their friends and family using smartphones linked to bank accounts or credit cards.

It seems pretty easy to use as well. All Messenger users have to do is to tap a new “$” icon that’s next to the photos and stickers buttons. Next they have to enter the amount to send, tap “pay” on the top right corner, and enter their debit card number, reports The Chicago Tribune. And to receive money for the first time, you just enter the card number.

To send or receive money is free and only works with debit cards.

Facebook says the system is secure as all the transactions and payment info are encrypted, reports Tech Crunch. Says Facebook, “These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control.”

UPDATE: Facebook Removes “Feeling Fat” Emoticon After Online Petition

March 11th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Update: After collecting thousands of signatures on an online petition, Facebook has agreed to remove the “feeling fat” emoticon in favor of one that indicates you’re “feeling stuffed.”

A statement from a company spokesperson says, “We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders.”

The decision has been well received by Catherine Weingarten, the Endangered Bodies head who launched the petition. “This success shows us that people together can challenge the cultural messages that are so damaging to our ability to love ourselves and live comfortably in our bodies,” she said in a statement.

Update by Tonya Garcia. Via The Verge


Original story posted March 5

If you’re a Facebook user, the platform allows for emoticons to describe how you feel in your status updates. Although the emoticons have been positively received by Facebook users, a group called Endangered Bodies is petitioning Facebook to remove the “feeling Fat” and “feeling Ugly” emoticons.

Created on, Endangered Bodies claims:

“Facebook is embedded in our culture, and we all know it is a tool to keep track of friends and family, but also to compare yourself and your life to theirs. It’s great then, that you can offer a direct and to the point serving of how you feel when you post an update. Your aunt can know how overjoyed you are about that exam result, and your old school friend can read about how frustrated you are about the customer service in that one restaurant. But also, now you can tell your entire friends list just how much you hate yourself. ‘Fat’ and ‘ugly’ are offered as feelings in the status updates list, and we think it’s wrong. We think it promotes and supports the endless torrent of judgment and pressure to be perfect felt by young people across the world. We do enough comparing as it is, we don’t need a status update to make it even easier to feel bad about ourselves. Please join us in asking Facebook to reconsider the “ugly” and “fat” emoticons & options from the status updates, in all languages.

Social media is a driving force that makes the average person compare their health, relationship or career to the next person, so Endangered Bodies founders Charlotte and Vicky believe the “feeling fat” and “feeling ugly” emoticons will also become a contributing factor to bullying.

Although those particular feelings don’t appear when you’re looking for a feeling to choose for your Facebook status, if you type in “fat” or “ugly” in the create your own section, emoticons will appear. The “fat” emoticon has a double chin and if you type in “ugly,” the emoticon has Mr. Potato Head’s facial features (glasses, exaggerated nose and mustache). Here are examples:





So far the petition has received 12,798 signatures. Do you think Facebook should remove the “fat” and “ugly” emoticons?

Here a video by Endangered Bodies about their cause.

Facebook Debuts Suicide Prevention Tool For Users

March 9th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Suicide Prevention tool


Together with Forefront, Save.Org and the University of Washington, Facebook has launched a suicide prevention tool.

Initially, the site debuted a similar tool in 2011 where users had to upload screenshots and links of content that concerned them to the suicide prevention page. Now, the process allows users to flag alarming posts they see on their Facebook newsfeed. It is often noted people who are suicidal give those around them hints that they will inflict self-harm upon themselves in conversations or online messages and by flagging these posts, users can message the individual, contact a mutual Facebook friend for support ,or be connected to an expert for guidance in hopes of preventing suicide before it’s too late. Once Facebook reviews the flagged content and believes the user is suicidal, the next time he/she logs into Facebook, there will be notifications and pop up windows to offer help that will include the number and links to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Now Matters Now.

Facebook  said in a statement:“We have teams working around the world, 24/7, who review any report that comes in. They prioritize the most serious reports, like self-injury, and send help and resources to those in distress.”

Currently, Facebook’s suicide prevention feature is only available in the United States but will become available to other countries later in this year.

“I Had A Feeling My Baby Wasn’t Coming Home”: 14-Year-Old Shot, Killed After Meeting Up To Fight Girls Over Facebook Feud

March 2nd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Facebook/Birmingham Police Department

Facebook/Birmingham Police Department

We told you earlier this year about a young girl who was beaten, shot and killed after meeting up with a guy she was introduced to on Facebook. Just last month, a 13-year-old boy in Chicago was shot and killed after following his two sisters to a fight they were going to engage in with a rival gang after feuding escalated on Facebook. Now, according to, a 14-year-old girl was shot and killed late last week while taking part in a brawl with her friends against another group of girls they were squabbling with for a few years now on Facebook.

According to reports, Kiera’Onna Rice of Birmingham, Alabama had planned to meet up with her friends so that they could fight another group of girls that they all had issues with on Friday. The freshman was specifically going to fight a girl she had been rivals with since sixth grade. Everyone met up at a park and some people came to record the fight so that it could be posted to social media. When the fight began, things got out of control almost immediately, with someone pulling out a taser, and two young men pulling out guns and shooting into the crowd of teens.

Rice was hit in the melee, along with two other individuals. As people fled the scene, witnesses claim that she was run over by a car, allegedly on accident. Rice was rushed to the hospital by her friends in one of their cars. She died there.

After talking to witnesses and questioning suspects, police arrested and charged two young men with murder and both first-degree and second-degree assault. Antonio King, 17, and Jason Wade, 19, are in jail with a bond of $1.5 million each.

Rice’s mother, Alicia, had heard Kiera’Onna talking about meeting up to settle a score with a girl she had problems with, but Alicia says that she encouraged her to walk away from such drama. On Friday night, Alicia called her daughter from work to find out where she was and Kiera’Onna told her that she was going to head home. However, the teen would go on to text her mom later and tell her she was sorry, but that she needed to “fight this girl and get it over with.”

“I said, ‘Keke, I’m going to beat your (expletive) when I get home. If they don’t kill you before I get there, I’m going to beat your (expletive.)’ I knew. I had a feeling my baby wasn’t coming home.”

That was the last time Alicia Rice was able to communicate with her child.

“I just went to praying real hard. I’d never prayed that hard a day in my life. I said ‘My baby ain’t coming home.'”

Kiera’Onna’s cousin, Destiny, 15, was present for the brawl and said that no one imagined things would spiral out of control in such a way.

“I lost my cousin over a fight. It’s definitely a wake-up call.”

According to Destiny, Kiera’Onna had considered her mother’s warning and didn’t really want to meet up to fight. However, “they had said if she didn’t come out there, they were coming to her house.”

As she deals with her grief, Alicia encourages other teenagers to leave social media alone because it is turning out to be more and more dangerous.

“They need to stop entertaining this stuff. Facebook. It just needs to go away. They don’t need it.”


Declare A Facebook Heir Before You Die

February 12th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook Heir Before You Die


With technology constantly evolving, Facebook has announced you can still keep your online persona after you die, reports USA Today. Even better, before you pass away you can declare who will become your Facebook heir. Your heir will be your Facebook estate executor and manage your account after you die. Users can decide who will be their heir or “legacy contact.” That particular person will be able to respond to new friend requests, update your cover photos and profile. They can also archive your Facebook posts and photos.

If you are not interested a Facebook heir, Facebook can also memorialize your account. It can only be viewed but not edited or managed; Facebook’s product manager Vanessa Callison-Burch also said: “We heard from family members who wanted to post funeral information or download and preserve photos. We realized there was more we could do.”

Since an increase of social media accounts, few states have created laws that give authority over digital assets. Virginia decreed in 2013 for parents or guardians to take control of their child’s online accounts after the child becomes deceased. In January, a Zogby poll examined adults who were concerned about what will happen to their social media pages after they die. The poll uncovered, 71 percent of 1,012 adults who wanted their online communications to remain private, unless they gave consent prior to their death. 43 percent of that same polled group desired their online accounts to be deleted, unless they not someone can access it until after they are dead.

In order to set up your Legacy contact, go to your profile icon and click on “Settings.” Then choose “security” and click on the “Legacy Contact” option at the bottom of the page. To see how Facebook’s feature works, I choose my cousin and if I die she will be able to download what I have shared on Facebook (which includes statuses, photos, videos and about section info). Since I’m an active Facebook user, that would be a lot of information. However, she would not be able to download my private messages.

Personally, I think once I am no longer here I would want my profile to be deleted. I watched the “Be Right Back” episode of the British series Black Mirrors where a woman used a company that “brought” her dead partner back from the dead via phone calls and even eventually mailed her a clone-like replica of him. What intrigued me about the episode was, her partner only responding to her with the phrases he used online. Although she received a chance to still be connected to the love of her life, things were different.

Would you want your social media page to be active after you die? Chime in the conversation and check out the Black Mirror’s episode below.

Facebook & LinkedIn Partner To Boost The Number Of Women In Tech

February 11th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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The lack of diversity is glaring in the tech sector. Not only are people of color sorely missing but women as well.

Now Facebook and LinkedIn, both of which have shockingly low diversity numbers, have teamed up to boost the number of women in tech. They plan to do so by getting more women to study engineering and computer science via a collaborative initiative.
The number of women studying tech in undergraduate computer science programs is extremely low. At their peak in 1985 these programs were 35 percent women. It’s now at a low of about 17 percent.

The Associated Press conducted an exclusive interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner and they announced that they’re launching mentoring and support programs at colleges to encourage more women to get involved in technology in general. The opportunity also has the potential to turn some of the participants into future employees for their companies.

They could both use an injection of women in the male-dominated firms. Over at Facebook, even though they have a high-powered and high-profile female COO, only 15 percent of its employees working in tech jobs and 31 percent of all employees are women, according to diversity data released last year. It’s about the same at LinkedIn, where women comprise 17 percent of the firm’s tech employees and 39 percent of total employees, reports The Chicago Tribune.

“A lot of our consumers, at least half, sometimes more, are women. We build a product that gives people a voice. We know we can’t build a product for the world unless our teams reflect the diversity of the people who use the product,” admitted Sandberg.

Now it would be great if tech firms like Facebook and LinkedIn created similar initiatives to boost the number of Blacks and Hispanics in their ranks.