Statement on META’s Wrongful Termination of Ferras Hamad (META4Employees and No Tech for Palestine)

Original online here and here.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg and Leadership,

This letter is a follow-up to the letter that was circulated internally on Dec 19, 2023 and deleted and dismissed due to our Community Engagement Expectations (CEE) on what can be discussed internally. Hence, we are sharing our concerns externally in a new letter: 

We, Meta employees, wish to express our disappointment and astonishment at the lack of acknowledgement and care the leaders of this company have shown toward the Palestinian community and its allies. In private conversations, we hear from our Palestinian colleagues about family members they have lost in Gaza and family they are working tirelessly to find safety for. However, any open support for our Palestinian colleagues or the millions facing a humanitarian crisis in Palestine is met with internal censorship of employee concerns, biased leadership statements showing one-sided support, and external censorship that is raising public alarm and distrust of our platforms. 

Internally, we have called out the months of silencing within our workplace forums. While we loudly display “Your voice is valued”, CEE is used as a guise to delete dissenting opinions and silence employees that may simply be seeking solace from their coworkers or raising awareness about building safer products. While in other companies, employees within Employee Resource Groups (ERG) are allowed to connect and speak freely with each other, ERG’s such as Muslims@ and Palestinians@ have faced so much censorship that an employee proposed just deleting the ERG altogether instead of giving the illusion that we can freely build community at Meta. CEE claims to reduce disruptions in our workplace, yet censorship from CEE has caused many of us at Meta to feel disrupted, unheard, and unsafe to the point that several of our Metamates have decided to resign. In the words of our former colleague, any mention of Palestine is taken down – 
Even when the post was from a colleague expressing their grief.
Even when the post was to celebrate the UN International day of support to the Palestinian people.
Even when the post is a link to a fundraiser to help the Gazans.
Even when asking questions about product bugs that affect Palestinian voices.

One of the original core values of Facebook was to “Be Open” and our current values claim that “We create a culture where we are straightforward and willing to have hard conversations with each other.”  Employees have always been first responders to surface issues raised externally to those internally with the power and knowledge to fix them. However when over 450 colleagues came together to sign a letter similar to this one in December, CEE was used to delete the letter and restrict one of the writers from their work devices for over two months while the workplace, product, and policy concerns brought forth were completely ignored. Employees have attempted to raise product concerns related to the conflict only to have their posts and comments censored or dismissed throughout internal channels. Most recently, questions about investigative reports indicating the possibility of governments, ISPs, and coordinated bad actors using Whatsapp data for military targeting have been met with dismissive and insufficient responses or outright deleted throughout internal forums. 

Meta leaders have posted numerous strong statements of support for our Israeli colleagues along with condemnation of the attack on Israel on October 7th that took the lives of ~1,200 civilians, both on internal and external platforms. Mark stated on his public Facebook – 
“The terrorist attacks by Hamas are pure evil. There is never any justification for carrying out acts of terrorism against innocent people. The widespread suffering that has resulted is devastating. My focus remains on the safety of our employees and their families in Israel and the region.” 

However, bias and inequity is painfully apparent when those same leaders do not similarly share support for our Palestinian colleagues and allies nor condemnation of the attacks on Palestine, which have now taken ~35,000 civilian lives and created a humanitarian crisis of displacement and starvation for ~2 million Palestinians. This has created a hostile and unsafe work environment for hundreds of our Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, anti-Zionist Jew, and anti-genocide colleagues at the company, who have felt consistently alienated and uncomfortable at work. Many have tried to articulate this through posts on Workplace only to be censored, rebuffed, and/or penalized. Feedback shared directly with leadership on Workplace Chat has been met with dismissiveness. Bias and inequity for the human rights and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is also apparent when compared to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, after which there was an outpouring of leadership support on all fronts, including additional resourcing and investment through various social impact initiatives. The lights in the Dublin office were even painted with the colors of the Ukraine flag. Leadership must do better to achieve true equity and inclusion.

Externally, when it comes to Palestine, the dismissive tone and lack of investment by Meta is not new and the company has consistently failed to thoroughly take action on years of evidence of suppression of Palestinian voices on our platforms worldwide. In 2024 the company is still slowly addressing the findings of an independent audit influenced by Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) 2021 letter to Meta on the Palestinian conflict 3 years ago. In the wake of October 7th, Meta has ignored reasonable requests for transparency on our content policies from Senator Elizabeth Warren and other lawmakers around the globe. Numerous civil rights organizations, some of whom are Meta partners, have been met with dismissal on the censorship concerns brought forth – leading to external petitions such as one against Meta’s proposed policy of treating “Zionist” as a proxy for “Jewish”, which collected over 52,000 signatures.

While Meta denies any Palestinian censorship or bias to the public, internally groups of employee volunteers have found numerous product and policy issues with disparate impacts to Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab communities since October 7th. The few improvements that have been made were achieved only by appealing to isolated product teams, with minimal senior leadership support or resources. Furthermore, in the wake of global criticism of censorship and moderation, leading into the biggest year for democracy in history, Meta has updated its policy to no longer recommend ‘political content’ by default across Instagram and Threads without clear guidelines of how this would impact content originating from global conflict zones. Meta has continued to fail the Palestinian community through its policies and lack of investment.

“Meta.Metamate.Me.”  We believe we are all Meta and are committed to respectfully working together to address the issues internally and externally, while holding firmly to the demands we have been echoing for months:

  1. We demand an end to censorship – stop deleting employee’s words internally in order to foster an inclusive environment where all communities feel seen, heard, and safe
  2. We demand acknowledgment – share internal acknowledgments of support for Palestinian colleagues and acknowledge the lives lost in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza to recognize our shared humanity
  3. We demand transparency and accountability – allocate dedicated resources to investigate issues of censorship and biases on our platforms and openly disclose findings to build trust among employees and the public
  4. We implore you to end the silence – issue a public statement urging for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza

As tech workers, we have a tremendous privilege to work on products that serve the world, and with that comes tremendous responsibility. We have been proud to work at Meta – and want to continue believing in its mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Please sign the letter here.
The letter will be updated with signatories periodically, listed in alphabetical order:

**Verified Meta (full name signature)**

  1. Abdelhamead Ibrahiim
  2. Abdullah Hashmi, Software Engineer, San Francisco
  3. Abdullah Shamari, Accounting Manager, Orange County
  4. Ahmad Baracat, Senior Software Engineer, London
  5. Ahmad Jarara, Software Engineer, NYC
  6. Ahmed Touati, Paris, AI research scientist
  7. Ahnaf Siddiqui, Software Engineer, Tampa
  8. Aishat Aloba, UXR, San Francisco
  9. Alex Martkovsky, Data Analyst, Los Angeles
  10. Alexander Mercier, CSM, Los Angeles
  11. Ali Bharwani, Software Engineer, San Francsico
  12. Alifia Hussain
  13. Alveera Khan, MLE, Menlo Park
  14. Amjad Bashiti, SWE, Jerusalem
  15. Amr Elshennawy, Software Engineer, Bellevue
  16. Ann Chunharakchote, Data Analyst, NY
  17. Argynbyek Shyegyebai, Software Engineer, Seattle
  18. Asad Liaqat, Research Scientist, MPK
  19. Aster McFarlane, Contingent Worker, Lisbon
  20. Ayman Mahfouz
  21. Bellal Labanieh, Marketing Science, Placentia
  22. Betsir Zemen, People Research Scientist, NYC
  23. Bilal Sheikh, Software Engineer, Redmond
  24. Bob Peck, Senior Account Manager, Austin
  25. Bruna Afonso
  26. Cam Owen, UX Researcher, New York
  27. Daire Ni Chathain, Production Engineer, Berlin
  28. Dave Kukfa, Security Engineer, San Francisco
  29. Ehsan Arbabi
  30. Evelyn Eastmond, PDP, Wrentham
  31. Fany Sepehri, Data Scientist, San Diego
  32. Fatema Abdolhadi, Software Engineer, Washington dc
  33. Fatima Bouhamdan, SWE, Boston
  34. Genesis Faumuina, Seattle
  35. Hajar Zaki
  36. Haleema Mehmood
  37. Hamoud Agha, Dublin
  38. Harriet Webb, Contingent Worker, Austin
  39. Heather Sundar, Project Manager, New York City
  40. Henry Letts, Program Manager, Amsterdam
  41. Hura Mohabbat
  42. Hussain Humadi
  43. Imran Khan
  44. Irfan Ahmed, PM, FTW
  45. James Gomis, Data Analyst, NYC
  46. Jawwad Ahmad, Software Engineer, Dallas
  47. Jesse Gray, Content Writer, Los Angeles
  48. Jibraan Qureshi, RL Dogfooding Team, Burlingame
  49. Jules Merkle, Environment Concept Artist, Poznan
  50. Junaid Tayyab
  51. Kareem Moulana, EE, Redmond
  52. Kash Todi, Research Scientist, Redmond
  53. Khadija Afroze, Ops PM, Bay Area
  54. Kristine Holst, UXR, San Francisco
  55. Laith Hasanian, Software Engineer, Menlo Park
  56. Lindsey Basnet
  57. Mac Abdi, Product Operations Manager, Brooklyn
  58. Majd Algharably, Operations Manager
  59. Mariam Naguib, Events – RL Dogfooding, Burlingame CA
  60. Mazen Oweiss, SWE, Austin
  61. Meghna Islam, Software Engineer, San Francisco
  62. Michelle Johnson, UXR, Brooklyn
  63. Mike Qasem
  64. Mohamed Ezz, Software Engineer
  65. Mohamed Merzouk, PM, New York
  66. Mohammed Feras Majeed, P2P Governance Analyst, Remote
  67. Najm Sheikh, Software Engineer, New York
  68. Nasreen Serhal, Events Coordinator, Dallas
  69. Noman Paya, VR TPM, Sunnyvale
  70. Nosaiba Ozturk, Software Engineer, London.
  71. Osama Abdelrahman
  72. Osama Badr, Test Analyst, Burlingame
  73. Rabia Lari, Saratoga, Ca
  74. Ramzi Saud, Data Analyst
  75. Robert Dei Dolori, RL Dogfooding Team, NY
  76. Saima Akhter, Data analyst, New York
  77. Shaheena Arshad-Trijillo, Network Capacity Engineer, Fremont, CA
  78. Shakti Das, Level Designer, Atlanta
  79. Shayna Moon, Technical Producer, San Mateo
  80. Sheed Moses, Test Analyst, Burlingame
  81. Sneha Palle, Software Engineer, New York
  82. Sofiane Abbar, Software Engineer, London
  83. Stephanie Fawaz, Producer
  84. Syed S Ahsan, SWE, Houston
  85. Tara Cubeisy
  86. Uzma Saeed, Communications Manager, Brooklyn
  87. Waleed Syed
  88. Waqqas Farooq
  89. Xiaodong Ma, IC, Dublin
  90. Yasmeen Syed, Seattle
  91. Youssef Emad, SWE, Burlingame
  92. Yousuf Azhar, QA Engineering Lead, Tracy
  93. Zain Ul Abedin**Verified Meta (anonymous signature)**
  94. A human caring for all human lives
  95. A Meta employee who desires fair treatment
  96. A tired employee
  97. Afnan Mussa
  98. AJ, SWE, NYC
  99. anonymous
  100. Anonymous
  101. Anonymous, Burlingame
  102. Anonymous, Software Engineer, San Francisco
  103. Anonymous, SWE Sourcing, Fremont CA
  104. AR Interactions Scientist, Burlingame
  105. AS, Product Designer, San Francisco
  106. Bint il Ard
  107. C Y, Software Engineer, Seattle
  108. Ceasefire Now, User Experience Researcher
  109. CO, New York
  110. Embarrassed to be associated with Meta
  111. Essam A, SWE, MPK
  112. Fatima H, PC, Fremont
  113. Hanny Z
  114. I.H
  115. Irina
  116. Kelly Jun, Tech Planner, Pittsburgh
  117. MA, Research Scientist
  118. MH
  119. Mohanad
  120. Moustafa
  121. N Hassan
  122. N, Research Scientist, New York
  123. Nigel Randall, Studio Designer 4, Los Angeles, CA
  124. NN
  125. Ola, SWE, Palestinian
  126. Omar
  127. Palestinian Employee
  128. PM Director, San Francisco, CA
  129. Rahama
  130. SA,SWE,MPK
  131. Sarah
  132. Shareen
  133. SS, Data Analyst, NYC
  134. SW, Analyst, New York
  135. Syed, SWE
  136. tahina
  137. Zarif Altool
  138. رائدة منصور – P**Verified ex-Meta**
  139. Abhishek Patel, ex-Meta, New York
  140. Ahmed
  141. Ahmed Medhat, ex-Meta, Palo Alto
  142. Ahmed Ragab
  143. Ahmed, ex-Meta, Dublin
  144. Amal Lozi, Ex-Meta SWE, Raleigh, NC
  145. Amro Younes, Redwood City
  146. Amy Steigerwald, ex-Meta, Austin
  147. Anh Ly, ex-Meta, Philadelphia
  148. Anon, ex-meta, nyc
  149. anonymous
  150. Anonymous
  151. Asma Elj, Ex-Meta, Dublin
  152. Avery Berchek, ex-Meta, Portland, OR
  153. Ben McCready, ex-Meta, Columbia
  154. Clay Smalley, ex-Meta, Raleigh
  155. CN
  156. Cornelia Reitinget
  157. Dan
  158. Deblina, ex-Meta, Brooklyn, NY
  159. ex-Meta employee
  160. Gerri Paul
  161. Gina Girgis, Research Assistant III, Redmond
  162. Giovanni Toso, Investigation Analyst, Dublin
  163. Habeeb Ahmed, Ex-Meta, Waterloo
  164. Hamdan Azhar, ex-Facebook, New York
  165. Hussein Negm, Data Engineer, Dublin
  166. Imani Mufti
  167. Islam Hassan, ex-Meta, London
  168. James C, ex-Meta, NY
  169. Joseph Rodríguez
  170. Joyce Zhao, ex-Meta Software Engineer, New York
  171. Kavindya Thennakoon, Learning Experience Designer (Ex-Meta)
  172. Krystle Young
  173. Lindsey
  174. Lubna ksseibi content review analyst Sunnyvale
  175. marissa beech, ex-meta, los angeles
  176. Mehroos Ahmad
  177. Michelle Lin, ex-Meta, Burlingame
  178. Mohamed El-Dirany, Software Engineer, New York
  179. Mohamed Kamal, ex-Meta, London
  180. Mohamed Moussa, ex-Meta
  181. Mohammad Abdulmoneim, ex-Meta Intern, London
  182. Nadah Feteih
  183. Nessrin, former RMI, Tripoli
  184. Nivedita V
  185. NS, ex-meta, menlo park
  186. Omar Abdelkader, ex-Meta, Menlo Park
  187. Omar Khair, ex-Meta Intern, Alexandria, Egypt.
  188. R.M.
  189. Rachelle Edwards
  190. Rawan Mohamed, Recruiting Coordinator, Garner
  191. Rebecca Kumar, ex-Facebook, Los Angeles
  192. Ron, ex-Meta, Washington State
  193. Rowena Ruan, ex-Meta, San Francisco
  194. Sam Saliba, Oakland
  195. Sara Arguilla, ex-Meta, San Jose
  196. Sofia
  197. Tamer Nassar
  198. Utkarsh Singh
  199. Vithushan Namasivayasivam, Ex-Meta, Toronto
  200. Watson Ren
  201. Ziad Sadek
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