[Serious] Designers working at Facebook, how have the recent events impacted your work?

11 months ago from , UX + IxD @ Disney

Regardless of what you think of FB, its CEO and other executives, there's much to be recognized in terms of the impact that this platform has had in the world. That's part of why FB's Product Design team has an amazing talent. Many of them are lead voices in the Design community.

I'd like to know from people @ FB, how have the recent news and events (of the last year maybe?) impacted you and your work? Has your perspective, challenges and goals changed in any way?

Criticizing something is easy. Working on improving something is difficult. With that in mind, please keep things civil.


  • Hamish TaplinHamish Taplin, 11 months ago

    Worrying about their shares, I think

    31 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 11 months ago

    i'm still struggling to figure out why facebook's utter lack of privacy is a recent scandal. it's always been their business model.

    23 points
    • Matt C, 11 months ago

      Me too man. Their entire business relies on selling your preferences to marketing companies. We're surprised this was used in an election when it's perfectly legal for superpacs to manipulate elections willy nilly? Fuck facebook I guess?

      5 points
    • James Young, 11 months ago

      This isn't about that though, it's about the unauthorised use of user data by a 3rd party that they should never have allowed.

      4 points
    • Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, 11 months ago

      It's more a few things:

      • Facebook's API was way too permissive in the amount of data it gave up, including for the ability of your friends to share your data without your permission. That's already been fixed but it it's more emblematic of a cultural problem with handling sensitive information

      • Facebook's TOS has been exposed as pretty much useless against rogue actors. Yeah, this was always a concern, but I think that if we were being honest with ourselves as an industry, we should have a serious discussion about permission based APIs, open APIs, and what sorts of data should be allowed to be accessed. Facebook should do a top to bottom rethink of every API endpoint and if developers actually need the data provided in it, and probably being way more descriptive of what each permission allows.

      • This incident represents another vehicle for hostile nation states and state sponsored actors can manipulate Facebook to build profiles. Today it's Cambridge Analytica, tomorrow it'll be some government that creates a Facebook app as a data honeypot, and Facebook isn't prepared for this new reality.

      6 points
  • Tony GinesTony Gines, 11 months ago

    Don't say it

    14 points
  • Rey AlejandroRey Alejandro, 11 months ago

    so far there is no designer on Facebook in the comment section.

    4 points
    • Luca Candela, 11 months ago

      It's completely unrealistic to expect anyone from FB replying to this thread. there's no winning here, if they say something that goes against the company line, they might get fired or get at least some crap from bosses and coworkers, and saying "it's fine" would earn them a reaming from the community. The most logical thing to do is say nothing at all.

      7 points
      • Hamish TaplinHamish Taplin, 11 months ago

        the only way to win the game is not to play

        5 points
      • Samantha S, 11 months ago

        The most logical thing to do is say nothing at all.


        0 points
        • Luca Candela, 11 months ago

          Sure, you're not wrong but if you were in their position would you gamble with your livelihood to make a statement?

          Easy to be heroes when someone else's bottom is on the line.

          0 points
          • Samantha S, 10 months ago

            I hear you man, but if I chose to work at facebook as a designer then a part of that decision would be because I want to add value to the world and help people connect digitally. Sure, not all designers care about changing the world for better through the products and services they touch through design, but I hope we can agree that designers should care about their users otherwise they are just tools being used themselves by product managers to reach some BS KPI metrics to get their bonuses at the expense of humanity (trump elections anyone?)

            Also still think they are evil, put this in your pipe and smoke it: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/technology/facebook-tinkers-with-users-emotions-in-news-feed-experiment-stirring-outcry.html

            It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. -Upton Sinclair

            0 points
  • Des DevDes Dev, 11 months ago

    'Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do.' - David Bowie

    3 points
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 11 months ago

    I certainly hope there have been more conversations about what Facebook's design and experience priorities are.

    The entire FB experience is like a drug that is actively trying to keep you addicted. If I was a design lead or product lead at Facebook I wouldn't be comfortable having such a huge team if what ends up getting built are things like messenger streaks or putting Snap/Insta style stories in everything. Thank god they killed off FB games.

    I used to use Facebook regularly, and now I barely use it for Events and birthday tracking. It feels like Facebook is just resting on their ever more polished laurels.

    Sadly this aspect of Facebook is not being discussed in favor of the sexier privacy stuff which is hardly unique to Facebook.

    3 points
    • Samantha S, 11 months ago

      The designers are complicit and their silence on the matter speaks volumes. They are getting paid ridiculously well and have no incentive to 'bite the hand that feeds them', for lack of better words.

      I used to look up to the fb as an employer and their work culture until I learned of their user research crossing ethical boundaries by manipulating user news feeds to see if they could mess with their emotions without informed consent [1] which statistically speaking, given their user population size, negatively contributed to users with depression arguably influencing them towards committing suicide unbeknownst to them, like they are some disposable lab rats. This is despicable and inhumane without informed human consent.

      1. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/technology/facebook-tinkers-with-users-emotions-in-news-feed-experiment-stirring-outcry.html
      1 point
  • Samantha S, 10 months ago

    Why is facebook considered so highly as a place to work by the design community? How have they pushed the boundaries for digital design? Their platform is so sterilized and clinical to look at, lacking any character or soul.

    I miss the good old days of myspace when you could mess with the html and personalize your profile to your liking, which got me interested in web design initially. No two profiles looked the same and everyone was encouraged to make their profile stand out.

    Maybe I'm getting just old :'(

    2 points
  • Sam D, 11 months ago

    At the minimum, it looks like a handful of the projects have been inspired by recent events: Designing New Ways to Give Context to News Stories (Medium), New Facebook Privacy Settings (Wired)

    2 points
  • A. N.A. N., 11 months ago

    They are probably telling business department... I told you so!

    2 points
  • Lucian .esLucian .es, 11 months ago

    Regarding the "Fake News" dilemma, I think they have a new vertical called "Misinformation" and probably Jeff Smith is one of the designers embedded in this team. Here is what I've found so far:



    Hope it was constructive. If you want to discuss more about the subject, would love to geek out about facebook: hello@lucian.es

    1 point
  • Onur SentureOnur Senture, 11 months ago

    So, this is the thread where "write anonymously" checkbox needed, but Facebook is everywhere. I believe, working for such a company that has tracking codes at every single website on planet earth is not easy for their mental health.

    1 point
  • Ivan FrantarIvan Frantar, 11 months ago

    There's no denying the incredible talent that exist today on Facebook and of companies like Google, Twitter, etc.. From a couple of engineers I asked them about the CA fiasco what they thought about, I noticed a hint of shame and not so much pride on their response of the events that surfaced. On twitter, however, I saw some others saying they are proud to be working for Facebook. So, I guess for some depends where their morals and ethics stand. I've doubt anyone will quit as a result.

    Anyways, let's all watch some FIFA 2018 now that we have been provided an streaming link ;)

    0 points
  • Marco YuMarco Yu, 11 months ago

    Then you guys should come to China and see what Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent has done in terms of user privacy.

    0 points
    • Martin Tsiu, 11 months ago

      and Xiaomi

      0 points
    • Dexter W, 11 months ago

      The difference is in China, you expect that your data is being shared everywhere. In the U.S., people assume their privacy is safe unless explicitly noted otherwise. Companies take advantage of this.

      1 point
      • Marco YuMarco Yu, 10 months ago

        It’s not because we expect our data being exposed. It’s because the inadequate law of privacy protection and the complicated situation of collusion and corruption of government and entrepreneurs.

        0 points
  • George Brown, 11 months ago

    wut u say boi

    0 points