Sep 13, 2022 - Technology

Scoop: Meta merging content moderation teams for ads and user posts

Illustration of chains and padlock wrapped around a phone.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Meta is merging its business integrity unit, the team that moderates ad content, with its central integrity team, which moderates users' posts, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The merger of the two departments will drive efficiencies at a time when Meta is looking to cut costs, two sources told Axios.

  • It will also combine Meta's customer support efforts so that everyday users and businesses receive the same treatment.

Details: The new integrity team will be housed as one unit under Guy Rosen, Meta's chief information security officer.

  • While no positions are being eliminated from either team, positions of employees who choose to leave after the reorganization will most likely not be filled, a source told Axios.
  • The newly combined team will include roughly 3,000 people.
  • A Meta spokesperson confirmed the integration and said the company is unifying the two teams "to leverage their shared learnings to more effectively and efficiently deliver on our commitment to protecting and supporting people and businesses across Meta’s platforms."
  • The central integrity team that oversees user posts was already under Rosen's purview. The business integrity team will move over to Rosen's team from a separate business product group within the company.

In response to the changes posted last month, employees posted questions to Meta's internal message board asking how the changes would affect their teams and whether there would be layoffs.

  • Meta has said it plans to reduce hiring and cut costs as revenue growth begins to slow. So far, there haven't been major layoffs announced for full-time employees.

Between the lines: The two teams were built separately years ago at a time when there wasn't much overlap between users and advertisers.

  • Now that so many everyday users have become creators, or operate small businesses across Meta's platforms, there is less of a divide between the two groups.
  • Meta last month said it was working on enhancing its customer support operations amid feedback from its independent Oversight Board.

Be smart: Bringing together the two teams will mean that eventually, Meta will use the same tools, practices and systems to moderate all of the content on its platform, whether ads or organic posts from everyday users.

  • It also means that Meta will be held to the same standards for content moderation across both types of content.
  • In his note to staff, Rosen said the unified teams will have shared organizational goals and outcomes, as well as consistent policies and platforms "so they can comply more easily with regulatory changes."

The big picture: Meta has gone through several layers of restructuring across its content moderation and integrity teams as it looks to streamline operations.

  • Earlier this year, it created a separate product team for data transparency products, including its data transparency center, its open research unit called FORT, and CrowdTangle, the internal analytics platform it acquired in 2016.

Editor's note: This piece was updated to clarify that the team Meta created for data transparency products is a product team.

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