Facebook COO warns women that male executives may stop hiring them because of sexual harassment scandals

Header misleading – Sandberg’s comments quite different:

The chief operating officer of Facebook, has warned of a potential backlash against women in the workplace following recent high-profile sexual harassment scandals. Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most powerful businesswomen in the world, said she had already heard “rumblings” that male leaders of companies may be increasingly reluctant to hire female employees because they feared their firms becoming involved in disputes.

Sandberg urged companies to put policies in place on how to handle allegations. Writing on Facebook, she said: “I have already heard the rumblings of a backlash: ‘This is why you shouldn’t hire women.’ Actually, this is why you should.” She added: “The percentage of men who will be afraid to be alone with a female colleague has to be sky high right now.

“So much good is happening to fix workplaces right now. Let’s make sure it does not have the unintended consequence of holding women back.”

Outlining her own experiences Sandberg, 48, said she had suffered sexual harassment in the past, and continued to do so despite the power she now wields. On one occasion, early in her career, a man at a conference came to her hotel room late at night and banged on her door until she had to call security. She said: “Like almost every woman – and some men – I know, I have experienced sexual harassment in the form of unwanted sexual advances in the course of doing my job.

“A hand on my leg under the table at a meeting. Married men – all decades older than I – offering ‘career advice’ and then suggesting that they could share it with me alone late at night.”

She made clear that none of the harassment was by men she had worked for, and all of her male bosses during her career had been “not just respectful, but deeply supportive”. But in each case the harasser had more “power” than her.

A hand on my leg under the table at a meeting. Married men – all decades older than I – offering ‘career advice’ and then suggesting that they could share it with me alone late at night

She said: “That’s not a coincidence. It’s why they felt free to cross that line.

“As I’ve become more senior, and gained more power, these moments have occurred less and less frequently. But they still happen every so often.”

Sandberg said the current movement against sexual harassment was a “watershed moment” and an “opportunity that must not be lost.”

via Facebook COO warns women that male executives may stop hiring them because of sexual harassment scandals | National Post

Facebook’s Sandberg: Counter Hate Speech With Positivity | Re/code

Not sure how realistic and effective a strategy this can be. While better always to be respectful in person and on-line, not sure the degree to which this can be effective with some of the more extreme language and views being expressed.

Presumably, given all the information Facebook collects, there must be some data, rather than anecdotes, on the effectiveness of this approach.

But it is telling that Facebook is not willing to make changes to its NewsFeed algorithm, effectively outsourcing the issue.

My way of handling the few comments on my blog that border on hate speech is either to ignore them or throw back a few questions to the writer, aimed to provoke reflection. Sometimes people engage, sometimes not:

How should you fight back against people spewing hate speech in your Facebook News Feed? Kill ’em with kindness, of course!

That’s according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who spoke on a panel Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sandberg talked about how Facebook tries to combat hate speech on its platform, and part of the strategy is encouraging counter-speech, the usually uplifting messages that provide the opposite viewpoints to degrading or negative language online.

Sandberg told a specific story about users in Germany who “Liked” a neo-Nazi Facebook page and then flooded it with positive messages. She called the effort a “Like attack.”

“The best antidote to bad speech is good speech. The best antidote to hate is tolerance,” she said. “Amplifying … counter-speech to the speech that’s perpetrating hate is, we think, by far the best answer.”

The strategy feels pretty “Kumbaya,” but that’s how Facebook has approached the issue of hate speech on its service, specifically when it comes to religious extremism and terrorism. Facebook will take down hate speech when it is flagged by a user, but it doesn’t go looking for it. That means the company is leaning on its user base to create positive content to fight against extremist material.

It’s making some effort to prod users in the right direction. Facebook is partnering with the U.S. government to encourage college students to launch anti-terrorism campaigns, for example. It is also partnering with the German government to better locate and remove hateful content. In both cases, Facebook is making financial contributions to the cause.

But the company is not using what is perhaps its most valuable asset in this matter: Its News Feed algorithm. Facebook claims that it doesn’t elevate this counter-speech in News Feed; it is instead offering a neutral playing field and hoping that positive speech wins out.

Facebook’s role in all of this has been top of mind for U.S. government officials, especially since a mass shooting took place in San Bernardino, Calif., back in December. Sandberg was part of a meeting between top government officials and Silicon Valley bigwigs earlier this month to discuss this very issue. Sandberg hasn’t spoken publicly about those meetings, so Wednesday’s panel was the first we’ve heard from her on this issue.

If you want to watch the entire panel you can do so here. Sandberg’s comments on counter-speech start right around the 18:00 minute mark.

Source: Facebook’s Sandberg: Counter Hate Speech With Positivity | Re/code