FACEBOOK’S stock price has slumped by nearly $10billion after sealed court documents about the firm were released to the public.
The secret files – which contain emails from billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg – reveal the inner workings of Facebook, and the company’s blatant disregard for user privacy.
As stock markets opened today, the company’s shares had fallen by around 2.5% – which works out at a loss of $9.5billion (£7.4billion).
The company is now worth around $378billion, as investors bail on the company over its rogue antics.
Zuckerberg is under major pressure now, after MP Damian Collins, who is leading an investigation into fake news, yesterday published secret emails and messages sent between Facebook employees.
The 250-page report revealed that workers tried to covertly gather users’ calls and texts while covering their tracks in order to avoid negative headlines should the practice go public.
In one of the internal messages from 2015, a Facebook employee discussed how an update to the social media app would trigger permissions boxes that would require them to opt in to “continuously upload your SMS (text) and call log history to Facebook”.
They said: “This is a pretty high-risk thing to do from a PR perspective but it appears that the growth team will charge ahead and do it.”
In another email a second employee said the team had thought of a way to collect the data from Android phones without “subjecting them” to asking for permission.
They said: “The growth team is now exploring a path where we only request Read Call Log permission, and hold off on requesting any other permissions for now.”
The media committee got the data from app developer Six4Three, which acquired the information dating back to 2013.
They are suing Facebook over changes to the social media firm’s policies which led to it shutting down the app.
Even Facebook workers are turning on boss Mark Zuckerberg amid rumours the scandal-hit firm is spying on its employees to avoid any more embarrassing leaks.
Reports suggest Facebook staff have resorted to buying burner phones to allow them to badmouth their superiors without fear of being recorded.
Former employees described a “toxic and hostile” work environment at the social media giant, which has been hit by a wave of data leaks and fake news scandals over a torrid few years.
One former senior staff member told Buzzfeed News that workers were eyeing up a change of leadership
“People are hoping for a Sundar or Dara moment,” the worker said, referring to Google chief Sundar Pichai and Uber’s new boss Dara Khosrowshahi.
Another said paranoia among employees meant they were using secondary phones to gossip about colleagues.
The source revealed: “People now have burner phones to talk s**t about the company – not even to reporters, just to other employees.”
They added that seething bosses are “spouting full-blown anti-media rhetoric, saying that the press is ganging up on Facebook”.
“It’s the bunker mentality. These people have been under siege for 600 days now. They’re getting tired, getting cranky – the only survival strategy is to quit or fully buy in.”
A Facebook spokesman last night admitted: “This a challenging time.”
The emails also show how Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg had a personal hand in taking down one of his company’s biggest rivals.
Just hours after Twitter launched Vine, a video-sharing app that collapsed in 2016, the 34-year-old green-lit a ruthless project to strangle its access to Facebook data.
The decision meant new Vine users could no longer find friends to connect with via Facebook, stripping the app of a key tool to help grow its user base.
Leaked emails show a conversation between billionaire Zuckerberg and Facebook Vice President Justin Osofsky the day the app went live in January 2013.
Osofsky wrote: “Twitter launched Vine today which lets you shoot multiple short video segments to make one single, 6-second video.
“As part of their NUX [New User Experience], you can find friends via Facebook.
“Unless anyone raises objections, we will shut down their friends API access today. We’ve prepared reactive PR, and I will let Jana know our decision.”
Slippery Zuck coldly responded: “Yup, go for it.”
But Facebook said yesterday’s release was misleading and only showed part of the story.
A Facebook statement said: “The documents Six4Three gathered for their baseless case are only part of the story and are presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context.
“We stand by the platform changes we made in 2015 to stop a person from sharing their friends’ data with developers.
“Like any business, we had many internal conversations about the various ways we could build a sustainable business model for our platform. But the facts are clear: we’ve never sold people’s data.”
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