- Facebook VP of Social Good Naomi Gleit, who is the company’s third longest-serving employee, told Business Insider why her team isn’t judged by traditional business metrics.
- CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Gleit that the company measures her team’s success based on “positive, real-world actions.”
- That directive includes Facebook’s crisis response and fundraising tools.
By all measures, Facebook’s business is booming.
But at least one part of the company has no intention of driving profits. As VP of Social Good, Naomi Gleit leads the team responsible for Facebook’s crisis response hub, fundraising efforts, and other similar tools.
Gleit, who is Facebook’s third longest-serving employee, recently spoke with Business Insider about why her team was formed three years ago and why it’s not driven by traditional business metrics. She refuted the idea that the organisation was formed to make Facebook look like more of a positive and altruistic force at a time when it’s under scrutiny for spreading fake news and misinformation around the world.
“I think that it’s actually quite the opposite,” she said during a recent interview. “Because Mark has said, ‘Your goal and the way that we measure your success is positive, real-world actions.’ There’s no business KPI [key performance indicator]. There’s no brand sentiment metric. There are no dollars, outside of dollars raised for charity. So those are our metrics we’re trying to measure against. They really are quite pure.”
At Facebook’s second annual Social Good Forum event in New York City this week, Gleit’s team announced a handful of updates, most notably the removal of all transaction fees for registered nonprofits that want to raise money on Facebook. The social network will now pay the roughly 5% fee per transaction, a move that garnered loud applause from a crowd of nonprofit partners during Wednesday’s event.
“We’ve wanted to waive fees but we didn’t know how much it would cost us operationally to do nonprofit vetting and security and fraud detection, etc,” Gleit told Business Insider. “Now we have a better sense. The program is more mature. We think we can waive the fees.”
Facebook’s slew of announcements this week included an update to how the company is using AI to automatically detect when someone is expressing suicidal intent. The move follows a string of suicides that were publicly broadcasted over the past year using Facebook’s live video feature. The company has since taken steps, including working with suicide prevention organisations, to try and keep suicides from being broadcasted.
“The social implications of what we do are not always apparent,” said Gleit when asked if Facebook could have better predicted how live video would be used. “We have been working on some of that proactive detection, training the AI, for a very long time. Can we do better? Yes, absolutely. I think with live video we just learned a lot very quickly.”
Gleit has served in a number of key roles during her 12 years at Facebook and currently reports to VP of Growth Javier Olivan. She’s also working on the increased investments Facebook is making in content moderation and security, including hiring thousands of more workers in the coming months. CEO Zuckerberg recently cautioned investors that the additional spending would impact Facebook’s future profitability.
For Gleit’s team, the task at hand is to build features like identifying willing blood donors in India and the recently announced tool for facilitating communication between mentors and mentees on Facebook.
“The thing I like about the Social Good team is that a lot of time companies create a corporate social responsibility arm or something and maybe they will put money in and make grants,” she said. “We’re actually leveraging the Facebook product. It’s not just something to the side. This is something so core.”