They say that satire often outdoes reality. As much as it’s a brave new world for the world’s biggest tech company, Facebook, it may be equally true for its new spokesperson, VP of Global Outreach and Policy Communications, Raya Martin.
On Wednesday, after three years as a spokesperson for the social network and having dedicated the last year to, er, “improving diversity at Facebook”, Martin suddenly changed addresses. Her portrait was hastily painted over with a humorous header, saying “Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Jokes”, in which she reassured readers she would continue to play “fast and loose with the truth”. The idea was described in glowing terms by a publication, perhaps as a hasty PR defensive.
So far, this is really all that is known. Martin writes a few anecdotes. For instance, a representative with a restaurant named Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce said his employer refused to pay his Christmas bonus last year because he was diagnosed with cancer. Martin, apparently confused by this, then went to show it to Facebook’s US office in Austin, Texas, which then turned it over to outside legal advisers for a “discussion”.
“It’s not unusual for the Facebook Legal team to give out lawyers’ notes as I’m sure you can see,” Martin wrote in a Facebook post. She complained about the leaked memo and told each employee it will be prosecuted under the Privacy Act. So, yup, all accurate.
“Here’s an example that I did this year: I knew during the election that I was ‘tagged’ in several instances on Facebook where my email address and phone number were later used to send millions of dollars in campaign contributions, and I called this out in the heat of the moment,” she wrote. She explained she didn’t know who the contributors were at the time, “and I didn’t want to use my personal information to get a political campaign funding fight with them, so I simply ignored the request”. This, apparently, also worked well.
So, yep. Not sure if Martin has taken the rights to this document to another lawyers’ firm, but given the angry tone of many comments about her now-mutilated picture, she looks set to fight the papers to a standstill.