Consulting firm Accenture reportedly used an algorithm to let go of about 60 contracted workers for Facebook, according to Insider.
The workers, who were based in Accenture’s Austin office, did not work directly for Facebook or Meta, but performed tasks like content moderation for the social media giant, the outlet added.
Workers told Insider they were put into Zoom meetings — one on Tuesday, and a follow-up one on Wednesday — where no one’s names were visible, including the people who let them know about their job change.
“I’m assuming it was HR, but no one knows for sure,” a person who is “familiar” with what happened in the call, told Insider. The Accenture representatives on the call reportedly told the workers that “an algorithm” helped pick the group of people who were being let go.
However, Meta is denying the report, and emailed Entrepreneur a short statement: “The reporting from Insider is inaccurate, please contact Accenture for official comment.”
Meta did not immediately reply to a follow-up asking what part of the reporting was inaccurate.
Accenture told Entrepreneur via email: “We pointed out that in both town halls, our speakers either identified themselves or were introduced by other speakers, so their identities and roles were made clear.”
Accenture added to Insider that, “it would be inaccurate to report there are layoff actions in Austin,” and that Accenture management did say their names on the call, and “we don’t use algorithms to randomly select people.”
“We also made clear that all people will be invited to apply for other open roles, and that they have 45 days to do so,” Accenture added to Entrepreneur.
Like other large tech companies, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has been shaking up its employee and recruiting policies. In May, the company instituted a hiring freeze. In July, a leaked memo said that Meta’s VP of remote presence and engineering, Maher Saba, asked managers to locate and “move to exit” people who were not performing well, The Information reported.
Mark Zuckerberg also said on the company’s Q2 earnings call in late July that the company would “steadily reduce headcount growth over the next year,” as well as cut down and restructure other teams, per CNBC.
Facebook had a $500 million per year contract with Accenture, per the New York Times, to furnish the company with people paid by the hour. Workers told Insider that Accenture said there was “no guarantee” it would offer more work to people who were let go from Facebook.
In the Wednesday call, Accenture told the employees HR would try to find another home for them if they submitted applications. If they didn’t get the positions or didn’t go for them, the workers would get paychecks through October 3.