Facebook’s parent company, Meta has announced the dissolution of its “Responsible Innovation Team, a group that deals with solving potential social harm caused by Facebook’s products and ensuring the products remain ethically correct.
The team was recently disbanded, although the majority of its members will continue to work for the company in other teams.
A Meta spokesperson stated that the company is “committed to the team’s goals,” but did not explain why the strategy has changed. He also stated that the company’s resources for safe and ethical product design would be better spent on issue-specific teams.
The Responsible Innovation team, made up of engineers as well as people with civil and ethical backgrounds, advised the company’s product teams on “potential harms across a wide range of societal issues and dilemmas,” according to Meta’s Margaret Stewart, the Facebook VP who oversaw the team.
The Responsible Innovation team is not the only one that has been reorganized recently. Meta has reorganized its entire AI team this summer, including merging the Responsible AI group into its Social Impact team.
In addition, the company has been looking for ways to cut costs as revenue drops for the first time in its existence. Meta has also canceled some projects in its Reality Labs division and slowed recruitment amid reports of retrenchments.
The sources for this piece include an article in Engadget.