Instead, they were told not share their findings with co-workers or conduct any further research into racial bias in Instagram’s automated account removal system.
It was an episode that frustrated employees who wanted to reduce racial bias on the platform but one that they said did not surprise them.
Facebook management has repeatedly ignored and suppressed internal research showing racial bias in the way that the platform removes content, according to eight current and former employees, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss internal Facebook business.
Facebook did not deny that some researchers were told to stop exploring racial bias but said that it was because the methodology used was flawed.
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was creating new teams to study racial bias on its platforms.