Meta dissolves team responsible for discovering 'potential harms to society' in its own products

Some members of the "Responsible Innovation" team are moving to other groups at the company.

Arnd Wiegmann / reuters

Meta’s “Responsible Innovation Team,” a group meant to address “potential harms to society” caused by Facebook's products, is no more. The Wall Street Journal reports that the team was recently “disbanded” though “most” members will stay on with other teams at the company. A Meta spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal the company was “committed to the team’s goals,” but didn’t provide a reason for the change in strategy.

The Responsible Innovation team was first formed “several years ago,” according to a 2021 blog post written by Meta’s Margaret Stewart, the Facebook VP who oversaw the team. The team was made up of engineers as well as people with backgrounds in civil rights and ethics, and advised the company’s product teams on “potential harms across a broad spectrum of societal issues and dilemmas,” she wrote last year. Zvika Krieger, the Meta employee who led the team, departed earlier this year, according to The Journal.

The Responsible Innovation team isn’t the only team to recently be reshuffled. Earlier this summer, Meta reorganized its entire AI team, which included folding the Responsible AI group into its Social Impact team. The company has also been looking to cut costs as its revenue shrinks for the first time in its history. Meta has also axed some projects in its Reality Labs division and slowed its hiring amid rumors of potential layoffs.

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