Facebook’s Attempts to Replicate Office Culture Through Workplace Hampered by Employee Monitoring, Content Censoring Features

Workplace is Facebook’s attempt to provide services that offices and companies would be able to use in order to maximize interactions between employees as well improve efficiency in the workplace. Since working from home is quickly starting to become the norm and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that the covid-19 pandemic is preventing people from going outside and this makes going to the office impractical as well as highly dangerous in a wide variety of ways.

However, as much as Facebook would like to think that Workplace will be able to emulate office culture with features like “casual hangouts” that can be started spontaneously, there are a lot of features that the service has which many people are finding to be somewhat concerning, i.e. according to TheIntercept. One feature allows employers to censor words that they don’t want employees using, allowing them to prevent words such as unionize being used. This is the sort of thing that could potentially end up causing a lot of problems because of the fact that it would suppress labor unions from forming, thereby infringing on labor rights and the like.

While this feature has been rolled back after criticism from employees, employee monitoring is still a serious issue. It is making it so that employees can’t speak freely to one another on Workplace, making the service a more employer oriented feature rather than anything that employees might want to use. Facebook would definitely want to try and make it so that this sort of thing is addressed, otherwise they will have essentially created a surveillance system that employers would be able to use in order to oppress employees and spy on them, something that would make the service highly unpopular and might decrease Facebook’s good will in the world around them.

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