Former Facebook Worker Says Facebook Secretly Drained Users Phone Batteries

Pappi Hex

A former Meta employee has filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming that Facebook ran tests that deliberately drained users' phone batteries. 

According to the lawsuit, ex-staffer George Hayward claimed, who served as a data scientist and worked on Facebook's popular Messenger chat app, claimed that the tech giant used a method known as "negative testing" that allows software companies to quietly deplete a device power to try out new features and snuff out bugs.

The former Meta staff claimed in the litigation that killing someone's phone battery puts people at risk, most especially in the circumstance where they needed to communicate or call for help, like the police or rescue workers during the time of emergency. 

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When he complained to his superior that the practice was harmful and needed to be stopped, she simply told him that the greater masses will benefit from the process by harming a few people. 

"I'm actually not even sure if this is legal to do with regards to various consumer protection laws. When I was in team selection, I was told again and again that we never do this," Hayward's screemshot of the message he sent to his superior read.

Hayward claims that it was shortly after a final communication about the issue in July, 2022 that retaliation began. His concerns were ignored, and he was then given new responsibilities that set him up for failures. For example, the company had several reviews rescheduled and canceled at the last minute and was eventually given poor performance ratings despite the suit's claim he had uniformly been rated positively in the past. He later got sacked.

"Meta chose to terminate Hayward as part of an alleged reduction in force to retaliate against him for complaining about Meta's negative testing. If not for his repeated objections, he would have been included in the alleged reduction in force," the suite claims.

However, the lawsuit Hayward filed against Meta in the Manhattan Federal Court which sought undefined damages has since been withdrawn because he needed to go to arbitration.

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