Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Facebook Workers Outraged Over Jewish Exec’s Support Of Kavanaugh

Facebook’s headquarters have been rife with internal debate as hundreds of employees shared their disdain over a top executive’s presence at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing last week, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The social media giant has since admitted it “made mistakes” in how it handled the situation, CNBC reported.

Employees brought their concerns to CEO Mark Zuckerberg after Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s head of global policy, was seen in the middle of the hearing on Sept. 27, according to Journal. Kaplan is a close friend of Kavanaugh, a fellow George W. Bush administration aide.

Hundreds of employees wrote on internal message boards about Kaplan’s decision, with many arguing that it came across as though the social network was supporting a man accused of sexual assault, according to reports.

The controversy was addressed at Zuckerberg’s weekly question-and-answer session last Friday, and COO Sheryl Sandberg weighed in on an internal discussion thread, according to people familiar with the posts.

Zuckerberg said at the meeting that while he wouldn’t have gone to the hearing, Kaplan’s appearance didn’t violate Facebook policies.

“This fire has been burning for a full week now,” one employee told WSJ.

Kaplan was initially defensive about appearance, claiming he took the day off and so went to the hearing on his own time. He later apologized in an internal forum for not recognizing how his presence at the hearing could be controversial, people familiar with the response said. However, he didn’t apologize for supporting Kavanaugh.

In a statement to CNBC, Facebook said: “Sexual assault is an issue society has turned a blind eye to for far too long — compounding every victim’s pain. Our leadership team recognizes that they’ve made mistakes handling the events of the last week and we’re grateful for all the feedback from our employees.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.