Meta forbids internal conversations on hot-button issues, New York Times employees strike
Plus, Musk tells Twitter employees to work out of San Francisco HQ.
1. Meta employees can reportedly no longer discuss ‘disruptive’ topics at work
Employees of tech giant Meta have been told that they can no longer discuss issues that could prove controversial, such as abortion and COVID vaccines on company messaging platforms. The move is said to avoid topics that have been “disruptive”.
Meta’s head of people, Lori Goler, wrote in an internal forum that the new rules were effective immediately and that off-limit topics include abortion, the effectiveness of vaccines, and gun rights, as well as political issues, including civil movements and elections, Fortune reported.
“We’re doing this to ensure that internal discussions remain respectful, productive, and allow us to focus,” Goler wrote, per Fortune. “This comes with the trade-off that we’ll no longer allow for every type of expression at work, but we think this is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our internal community.”
On the surface, you can understand why Meta might want to do this. They’re aiming to avoid strife between coworkers who might share different social views. But this isn’t the way to build a healthy workplace culture. Employees should be able to bring themselves to work fully as they are. As communicators, we should encourage open dialogue in the workplace. We should take a position of understanding where others are coming from while also respecting the views and backgrounds of other people. The more we try to place ourselves in the shoes of others, the more perspectives and messages we can understand.
2. New York Times faces first major walkout since 1970s
Staffers at the New York Times went on a 24-hour strike this week following demands of higher pay and increased benefits. Despite the move to strike, the staff promised minimal disruption to the delivery of the news.
The stand-off comes at a time of heightened labour unrest in the US, as the cost of living continues to rise.
Union members say the company can afford their demands, despite challenges in the wider news business.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to work for one of the few places in media, or print media, that is profitable, healthily profitable,” said sports reporter Kevin Draper. “And yet the proposals that management have made are barely better than what we got last time.”
With uncertain economic times seemingly on the horizon, we’re likely to see more workers, particularly those in the media space, demanding more from their employers in terms of benefits and cost-of-living raises. It’ll be interesting to see what the next development in this saga is. Will the Times bend and give their staff upgraded compensation, or will a continued stalemate be a harbinger of things to come across the media industry?
3. Elon Musk told Twitter employees they have to start working exclusively at the company’s San Francisco headquarters
Twitter head Elon Musk has notified Twitter employees working on software and design that they’ll need to start working out of the company’s San Francisco HQ if they can “reasonably” do so.
In an email sent to staff on Wednesday, Elon Musk mandated that employees start coming into the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, advising employees that other Bay Area offices won’t be used “for now.”
Insider obtained a copy of the email via a Twitter employee whose identity has been verified by Insider but requested to remain anonymous.
“Everyone who can reasonably be at SF HQ is required to be unless an explicit exception is approved. We will not be using other offices in the Bay Area for now. Anyone writing software / doing design needs to be on the 10th floor.
This marks Musk’s most recent battle against remote work options. Since taking over the company Musk has already mandated a return to the office, and now he’s demanding they report back to a specific one. Twitter was formerly known for its “work anywhere” policy, which has been nearly totally reversed under Musk. While watching Twitter go through all the turmoil it has endured recently has been fascinating to say the least, you have to feel for the employees that had found a sense of work-life balance that is being ripped away under a new regime.
4 How about some good news?
- A library book was returned after 47 years (with an apology note)
- A solar-powered car has entered production
- An ancient name and doodles were found on a 1,200-year-old manuscript
- Ragan Training is great for communications pros to find inspiration and resources.
- You should be rewarded for your work. Find out how to earn an award here!
Have a great weekend, comms all-stars!
Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.