Facebook Engineering manager resigns over harassment amid mass exodus

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A Facebook engineering manager who ran a major open-source project called React announced via Twitter on Jan. 11 that she was quitting—days after alleging that she’d been harassed by colleagues.

Four days before announcing her resignation, Sophie Alpert, who identifies as transgender, posted a message on Facebook’s internal social network saying that she had been harassed by her colleagues for criticizing the lack of diversity at the company. Alpert also alleged that she’d been verbally attacked on Blind, an anonymous workplace app.

“Facebook is good for many people, but it’s not the right place for me right now,” Alpert wrote on Workplace.

“I want to spend my time at a place willing to push further on diversity and inclusion. One where it’s not OK to write… that white privilege doesn’t exist. One where if I call out that our board has too many white men, I don’t get harassed by other employees on Blind with transphobic messages saying I should be fired.”

Amid several scandals—including data breaches concerning users, investors, and lawmakers—Facebook is reportedly also facing a mass exodus of talent citing an unhealthy workplace.

Anthony Harrison, a spokesman for Facebook, said in a statement to CNBC that the company worked with Alpert to resolve the issue. “Sophie is very aware of how serious we took her concerns…” Harrison said. “Because the comments in question were made anonymously there we weren’t able to find out who posted them.”

According to a recent report from Business Insider, Facebook has just announced a new “set of ground rules” for communication at work. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, wrote a memo laying out the three guidelines: “don’t insult, bully, or antagonize others.”


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