Chinese Facebook staff sacked after speaking out for colleague’s suicide: Reports

Facebook was allegedly ‘muting’ discussions about an employee’s death caused by office bully.

May 13, 2019 - Poland - In this photo illustration a Facebook logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Credit Image: © Omar Marques/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire

After about two weeks joining a vigil held for a Chinese Facebook employee who reportedly committed suicide in September, a senior engineer at the social media giant got the axe due to “violating company policies,” Chinese self-media account Guixingren reported.

On Sept. 26,  hundreds of Chinese tech workers in Silicon Valley, including Yin Yi, attended a gathering at the entrance to Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters. They mourned for Chen, a 38-year-old Chinese engineer at the Ads Targeting Product Department, who had jumped from the fourth floor of the company’s building seven days ago.

Speculations on the social media said Chen took his life due to excessive work pressure and the unfair treatment from his superior.

Attendees were seen holding placards that wrote “We deserve the truth,” “Stop workplace bully,” and “Full police investigation.”

At the vigil, Yin was among the people showing his identify publicly while accepted several interviews from media outlets including ABC News.

Followed were several internal emails and meetings with human resources personnel that required Yin not to “discuss the incident with anyone outside the company” for privacy protection, and not to reach out to Chen’s family personally, according to a Tencent News report.

Yin, who expressed dissents, was issued a final warning letter on Oct. 1, and was told to work from home later, the report added.

Six days later, he was officially fired by Facebook for “violating company policies.” He confirmed his exit on a LinkedIn post.

Family of the deceased Chen has hired law firm Sanford Heisler Shaper to investigate the incident, CNBC reported.