Facebook Tells Employees to Keep Communications for Legal Reasons

Facebook has also tried clamping down on employee leaks. This month, it told workers that it would make internal groups focused on platform and election safety private. That would make it harder for them to see discussions related to those topics and limit participation.

“These are the actions of a company attempting to resist scrutiny, not embrace transparency,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut who has led a Senate subcommittee inquiry into Facebook, wrote in a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive about the action.

In Tuesday’s email, Facebook told employees to preserve everything since Jan. 1, 2016. It also advised them that encrypted messages should be preserved and noted that they should stay away from ephemeral messaging for work purposes until further notice.

There was no “specific action at this time,” the email said, but employees should not discuss or post about the legal hold anywhere on Workplace, the company’s internal message board.

Not all aspects of Facebook’s business were bound by the legal hold, according to the email. The company told employees that documents solely related to WhatsApp, its messaging service; Spark AR, its augmented reality studio; and the New Product Experimentation group, an internal incubator, were excluded from the legal hold.

“You do not need to preserve documents or communications that are exclusively about WhatsApp as a company product,” the email said. “You must preserve all WhatsApp messages related to other topics.”

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