Facebook fires worker who refused to do 'negative testing'

Facebook secretly killed users batteries, worker claims in lawsuit:

The practice, known as "negative testing," allows tech companies to "surreptitiously" run down someone's mobile juice in the name of testing features [...]

"I said to the manager, 'This can harm somebody,' and she said by harming a few we can help the greater masses," said Hayward, 33, who claims in a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit that he was fired in November for refusing to participate in negative testing. [...]

"Any data scientist worth his or her salt will know, 'Don't hurt people,'" he told The Post.

Killing someone's cellphone battery puts people at risk, especially "in circumstances where they need to communicate with others, including but not limited to police or other rescue workers," according to the litigation filed against Facebook.

"I refused to do this test," he said, adding, "It turns out if you tell your boss, 'No, that's illegal,' it doesn't go over very well." [...]

He said he doesn't know how many people have been impacted by Facebook's negative testing but believes the company has engaged in the practice because he was given an internal training document titled, "How to run thoughtful negative tests," which included examples of such experiments being carried out.

"I have never seen a more horrible document in my career," he said.


We don't know much else, because Hayward's employment contract included a non-negotiable binding arbitration waiver, which means that he surrendered his right to seek legal redress from his former employer. Instead, his claim will be heard by an arbitrator -- that is, a fake corporate judge who is paid by Facebook to decide if Facebook was wrong. Even if he finds in Hayward's favor -- something that arbitrators do far less frequently than real judges do -- the judgment, and all the information that led up to it, will be confidential, meaning we won't get to find out more.

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