Torofy Blog

Depression and Heart Disease

Facebook Employee Suicide Cover-Up


Maybe we should talk about this for those of you who don’t know. Last week, a Facebook employee Qin Chen, 38 years old. He jumped to his death from the fourth floor story of a Facebook campus building in a suicide He ended his own life and it’s absolutely tragic. You know, I was originally not going to cover a topic like this but I feel that his friends, family, and colleagues deserve answers and I happened to have some more internal information regarding this case from the internal Facebook group over on the Blind app And the more I looked into this, the more it became clear to me that people need to know the story. We need to understand what happened And Facebook management, HR, they are not covering this properly In fact, the rumors are that they’re trying to hide this and not even admit that this was a suicide They’re simply saying that an employee passed away, and that if you need help, you should go get some help, get some counseling That’s about all they’re doing right now. And it is frustrating to the employees of Facebook, as well as to myself, that the way he chose to die He tried to send a message out, and Facebook upper management They are completely ignoring that, and sweep it under the rug in the internal message boards and the employee rights [reading] “It’s now clear that Facebook leadership wants to tug this suicide case under the rug.” “We can’t let leadership get away with it so easily.” “They need to treat this issue seriously because a precious life was lost and so far they have been trying to ignore it.” “This is unacceptable.” And 85% of other people agreed on this poll. And anytime something like this happens, executives are going to be doing anything they can to make you forget about this Maybe they’ll have a town hall meeting in which they answer a few questions, tell you to go get some counseling, call some crisis numbers, and sweep everything under the rug. And in two weeks, they’ll hope that you forget about this whole thing and they won’t have to change a thing, which is probably what’s going to happen Let me tell you though the details I know about this case. So, I don’t know Qin personally I’m still piecing together parts of this story, but the allegations appear pretty serious, which is why I think we need the full investigation But as I understand it, he was working in the advertising group, which is already a very high-stress group You know, any small technical issue, it can cause millions of dollars in revenue loss Now, his performance rating was starting to suffer, and if you’re not performing well for multiple quarters then you get put on the PIP plan, Performance Improvement Plan, which is essentially the path to you getting fired So before that happened, Qin started to look for an internal transfer in which he can go to some other team. And he found another team, and everything seemed good He started transferring his work over to other colleagues. It seemed like the other team wanted him, his manager seemed okay with it Everything seemed good to go. However, it appears that — and this is a serious allegation — that he may have been betrayed by his manager So the story is that the manager convinced him to stay on his team until the end of the quarter and told him that he would give him a good performance rating, and after that he could switch over teams …however… When performance season wrapped up, and it just recently finished up, the manager betrayed him and gave him a “meets most” rating And with a rating like that, it blocks your ability to transfer teams So hypothetically, if this is true — and I’m not saying that it is, it could just be a story — but if it is true, then this could be serious workplace bullying in which the manager betrayed his employee, tricked him into staying on his team, blocked his internal transfer And you know, regardless of how this happened, it can be extremely humiliating and embarrassing for the employee According to a report, so many people on his team were burned-out, stressed, and they started leaving the team too, so then the manager actually wanted Qin to remain on his team, at least for a little bit maybe, right? But the manager told him, because so many people were leaving the team, because they needed more people, maybe he can talk to HR, somehow find a way to stay. So it’s not really clear. It could be that the manager wanted him out It could be that he saw so many of his other engineers starting to leave that he wanted Qin to actually stay on his team, or it could be none of these things at all But someone who worked with him says, “we went through many reorgs and management would squeeze every blood out of individuals to hit performance goals. There have been many times I wanted to kill myself and was reading our death benefits that my wife will get if I die.” So apparently Qin was not alone in feeling that high-stress environment The final straw came when there was a SEV, which is a “severe site event” Essentially like a crash, where production servers go down or something due to some technical error And this was assigned to Qin, the SEV review. And apparently he tried to delay this process, push that review back but an internal script prohibited that and blocked that process, so he was forced to do this. And what’s telling is that just an hour before the SEV review He committed suicide. He jumped. And from this you can kind of paint a picture of the amount of stress he may have been under. The SEV review he had to do, the internal transfer being blocked, performance ratings that meant he would be fired soon, not to mention he was also on the H-1B visa so his ability to remain in the United States was also at serious risk here Within sixty days of being let go he would have to have found another visa sponsor or he would have to return back to China Now some of you may be wondering, well, with a background like that, couldn’t he just go get another job? You know, the thing is, maybe he was mentally ill in some capacity Depression, it’s not logical. It’s an impulse decision. And you know, I’ve been there myself. I’ve had moments too when I would be very depressed Your heart sinks. Your eyelids just want to close. And you know, you take a look at a ledge, a balcony and you just think, oh yeah, that’s a quick way to end it. I would encourage any of you who are feeling like this to get some help. They do have like a suicide hotline which you can call I’ll link that in the description below, but I hope that we can honor Qin’s death By making sure that it’s not in vain How sad would it be if in two weeks, two months, two years from now, this happens again, over and over again? And we just learn nothing You know, the way he decided to die I think he tried to make a statement in such a public fashion And it seems that Facebook leadership has simply muted it silenced it They just tell people that due to privacy concerns and respect for the family, to not talk about it And essentially every facebook employee is now silenced from this, censored Many people don’t feel safe talking about this And yet, it’s clear that so many people in that company still continue to feel that their culture is toxic And that there’s a high degree of stress. In a poll of how many employees felt stressed out 73% said so. And someone else writes, they never had depression before, but here they did have it. Another comment: “I know lots of people who joined this company prior to me. When I talk to them about the work culture and their happiness, sadly, nobody said that they are happy nor will they stay a very long time.” “I used to work 12-hour days including weekends went through several reorgs. I had heartaches day and night for two weeks and then quit.” Which largely reflects my experience there as well. And you know the scariest thing about this, likely, nothing is going to change. HR, Facebook, they’re going to deflect responsibility They’re going to just blame this on mental illness. They’re gonna say, hey, if you need help, go talk to some counselor They’re going to have a town hall meeting in which they answer some Q&A B.S. questions. I know how it goes They come and say, give us your toughest questions, ask us whatever you want. You ask them a question, they just deflect it They answer them all, they say goodbye, and that’s it You know, what I would like to see is a SEV review on the SEV review that ended Qin’s life I would like to see a full post-mortem write-up by the direct manager or the director about exactly what happened Everything detailing up to the events: why it happened, how much damage occurred, and what will be done to prevent this from happening again And people need to be held responsible here There should be a complete criminal investigation opened up here looking into workplace bullying And for the people who were working with Qin and his management chain I think they need to seriously review their processes And think about the environment that they set up for the employees Now I want to give you some real advice here. These companies… They can and will just drive you into the ground They will milk you for every ounce of blood that they can get And we can sit here and whine about it and demand better treatment all day long And they may or may not listen I would recommend that you watch out for yourself, and always have your own best interests No company is worth dying for No company is your family If you feel that the situation is getting too toxic or stressful, consider taking a vacation Take a break, or start looking into switching companies. Start interviewing around You know, I know that if people are on H-1B visas like Qin, then this may be more difficult But you have to be looking out for yourself like that. The company, they’re just not going to have your best interests at heart It’s an exchange of your time for money and just leave it at that, and never work yourself to death over some company because they don’t care about you, and you shouldn’t care too much about them either As for this case, it’s still ongoing I would personally like to see a full report on this, highly doubt we’re going to get anywhere near that. I would recommend, if you work at Facebook, to not let the issue rest, to continue bringing it up For the sake of Qin’s family, such that they will get the justice and get the explanations that they need This video, by the way, it’s not monetized, of course I just wanted to share some of the internal information that I had, bring some more awareness to the topic, and demand some answers It’s just so sad that Qin came to the United States, studied hard, worked hard, and landed his dream job over at Facebook And his family thought that he would be in great hands, that his future would be secured and yet through the intense stress, toxic culture, and who knows what else may have been going on in his life, that he didn’t have the support that he needed from his colleagues, and that things would have to end up this way Again, if you need help, I highly recommend talking to family members or friends. My family helped me get through my dark times There’s also the suicide hotline as well. So give those a look. If you liked the video give a like and subscribe, and I’ll see you next time. Thanks. Bye

100 thoughts on “Facebook Employee Suicide Cover-Up

  1. #Fuckerberg truly is a POS and the cover up after cover up just goes to prove what an lowlife he is. #liberallunatic #leftistgonetohell

  2. Management bulling happens a lot anymore and it's hard to protect yourself from this situation. Management will accuse their there employees and say anything they want to keep you in a position you dont want to be in. Most companies have policies that restrict you from your own rights at the workplace. Should be able to make are own policies as an employee when you feel like a victim of any kind of abuse. Management does abuse their authority…

  3. I find it interesting that after the news came out about this and I watched this video, I logged into Facebook and recieved a notification to enter their survey about whether I think they're a good company or not and contribute to society. Maybe just a coincidence, but it's very timely.

  4. I haven't watched the entire video yet and I'm already worried about TechLead getting sued or doxed by FaceBook.

  5. I know people who work at FB. To have landed a FB job thinking they hit the jackpot with all the perks FB has to offer, they were happy in the beginning thinking they landed a dream gig only to realize it fast becoming a nightmare. Overworked, overspent, overwhelmed and having to meet impossible quotas. It's not an uncommon scene for employees to break down and cry in the midst of work. Grown adult men who you would think would never cry.

  6. as PR's point, guess management in FB at first phase to tell all their employees to shutoff on this case; dont think FB really review/learn from this… LET's STOP USING FB

  7. I never share YouTube videos or posts via facebook but had to share this one to let more people know about this toxic working environment at Facebook.

  8. Spent one year in Tech in Silicon Valley in the late 90s. It can be a very lonely place. People are running around at a lightening pace. Everything is critical. And yet, nothing often is. People worship rich technologists, many of whom are often very slimy individuals. It's a giant treadmill with most people blindly jumping on and running simply because everyone else is running. To ask "why are we doing this (product/release/feature/etc.)?" is sacrilegious. Wisdom is nonexistent in the conversation. When I go there, I make a point to spend time with people who are grounded and wise and see the absurdities. Not everyone in SV plays along. But for most, when you are in it, you don't see it. And once you are out of it, you are grateful you're not in it. I know many who have left; they now focus one family and friends. They come in at 8:30 or 9:00 am and leave by 5:00. My advice to anyone in Tech in SV is to have a therapist or some good friends on hand (actually, that's good general practice). Write down your values share with therapist and friends and use your values/therapist/friends to keep you in check.

  9. I rejected a role at Google and left Amazon. So stressful. Glad I'm not at a huge branded corp. I wrote a post here on burnout:
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-prevent-information-burnout-culture-fine-tune-stefan-caliaro

  10. Why did you make this video only 9:51 long? Normally you go just above 10 mins to be able to place multiple ads. Must be something you did on purpose.

  11. The amount of videos on facebook since he was fired clearly shows that you better not mess with techlead.

  12. My parents not once had this kind of pressure in their era. Bottom line today: its about $$$$ and manipulation. THe average worker stays at their place of employment 3 years. Career changes are vast, now days. What does this tell us? We are expendable and managers know this. My last place of employment crippled me. Like Chapelle said by one word, AFRICA. It took him YEARS to get over. YEARS. The impact of our work lives is something important to monitor. And the most important thing i haven't learned well is ALWAYS keep looking for your next place of employment when you have a job.

  13. I hate that companies like Facebook, who are already mostly automated in many ways, put employees under this crazy level of pressure.

  14. Make a video about how apple use the sound from your phone sticks to your ears that make people feel suicide,it’s like someone scratching the black board,so when you listen to music or anything on your phone,it makes you mad….you can try it to my phone

  15. his wife and kids in China, proud of his Dad working at FB in America, now this happens, crushing the family and their dreams. I hope his family are well compensated and they are able to live a happy live.

  16. Wow. Most of us are jealous of all in the Tech industry especially software engineers and Data Scientists.

    We believe: They make really good $$, They get free food, sometimes work from home, and enjoy the good life. Didn't know this hard driving side to the tech industry. I have some friends in tech , no wonder they are very stressed out. God bless the family of Qin.

  17. at 5:10 you mentioned that "couldn't he just get another job." I can speak from my personal experience that my H1B visa transfer process took 4 months. And I know people whose transfer process took even longer than mine. So for those who are not aware, H1B is tied to a specific employer. In order to change job, it's a lengthy process that involves filing an application with USCIS. And USCIS doesn't guarantee a time to process your case. They have a rough guideline of how long you should expect. But again, if you don't hear back within the time frame, you can't do anything besides requesting a case update which the government is not obligated to respond either.
    And All those who are on H1b is aware, under the current administration, the processing time tends to be longer than before and more unpredictable.

  18. amen. very true. 1st co. f'd me over and blacklisted me for 7 yrs just because i knew and reported a weinstein-esque situation before twitter took off

  19. This is a heavy topic. Thank you for raising it up. It definitely needs courage to publicly discuss about it. Hopefully the hotline information can help somebody change his mind . Life is precious. We only live once.

  20. Facebook is a disgrace of a company.

    Had three directors stealing ideas and passed as their own.

    The entire culture is based on popularity contest and cover up from top down.

    No matter how much money it cost the company. Just massive chain of coverup and deceit.

  21. Manager's blocking employees from transferring to another team by giving them negative feedback happens ALL the times, especially at Amazon!
    Too bad the employee committed suicide for a stupid job!

  22. I dont think it is fair to cast aspersions on FB. Suicide is a complex subject. This discussion is speculation (in other words, gossip), as the techlead admits himself, albeit in different words.

  23. People, a job isn't worth your life! To hell with FB, Google, Amazon–blood-sucking parasites, all of them. Get out and work for yourself, for a small company that respects their employees, encourages them, supports them. I did it, so can you!

  24. TechLead中文这么溜?自己工作的环境也有员工压力大并有精神症状的情况,原因不仅是工作方面的,思考作为同组同事应该怎么做,关注。

  25. Tech burnout is real, saw it happen to some of my colleagues and experienced it myself. Been on medical leave a couple times and will do it in a heartbeat if my health requires it. These companies do not give a shit about you. Rest in peace dude. Practice self care and don't trust these managers to have your best interest in heart.

  26. He should have taken down that manager before commiting suicide. What's gonna lose. You are deciding to die anyway, best to exact the revenge!

  27. This is Qin Chen's manager's information:
    Ori Hanegby, age 41
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ori-hanegby-16344/
    Home address
    11851 Southwood Dr Saratoga CA 95070

  28. Thank you for this and you’re right that his life is NOT in vain! Can you possibly let us know more about his life and continue on this story!! Thank you Tech Lead!!

  29. FaceBook discovers TechLead's YouTube channel: I'm about to end this man's whole career

    TechLead discovers a major FB scandal after getting fired: I'm about to end this company's whole career

  30. Having a h1 visa means you cant just get up and switch jobs, you literally need to choose a company that will need to uphold your sponsorship

  31. No matter how intelligent a person is outside forces, over time can often force us into situations which can feel inescapable. This is human and not a sign of failure.
    Whenever you start to think that there is only one answer, such as suicide, it is absolutely time to admit to yourself that you have reached the limit of coping on your own and it is imperative that you 1: reach out and seek help 2: step away from the situation and reassess your priorities. Before you do anything so final reach out and at least try one more thing

    There is also this beautiful video by Jordan Peterson to make you reassess what’s important, because life is precious and you are loved.

    https://youtu.be/VbEQriZEfoI

  32. Remember: To bosses, most wives, corporations, governments, and those you don't know at the very top that run it all, you are a completely disposable unit of a labor.

    So make something meaningful in your life other than your income, unless you are lucky enough to combine the two.

  33. Really? Toxic environment? You mean like bad bosses? Ridiculous timelines? Others being promoted over you? Denigration? etc. etc. etc.

    Yeah, harsh. Kind of like what most people over 35 have had to work through over their careers up to this point. It happens everywhere. Toxic environments exist outside of tech, too.

    Think your job is too stressful and toxic? Easy fix. Find another job! Oh, you can’t find another job making $150k when you’re 25? Boo frigging hoo!!!

  34. "NO COMPANY IS YOUR FAMILY" yeah tell that to Asian parents & wives all they care to say would be that it's ur fault Chan u did not study hard enough and u did not work hard enough.. He will be lucky if they dont send a hit squad there to eliminate him. Disowning would be the least of Chen's worries. Rules are simple when u r not previliged to be born in the first world i.e. no H1B (leading to citizenship) = no respect. It's like wealth, sad if u dont have it worse if u got the visa then loose it. Unless ur ruthlessly hungry & foolish no hardwork is going to get u that citizenship.

  35. It seems like a lot big corp are like that.My suggestion is build your portfolio and get another position at some other company.

  36. You've earned my respect for not monetizing & not trying to sell anything during this topic.
    In the past, I've had to tell some fellow youtubers not to commercialize someone's death;
    and they hated me for hindering their ad $$. Such horrible moral compass.

  37. Keep exposing these tech companies Patrick i am with you i work for no one but myself and you and others are an inspiration to that. Keep it up terrible that these companies think they are untouchable and wont be held accountable.

  38. "These companies they can and will just drive you to the ground. They will milk you for every ounce of your blood that they can get. We can sit here and whine about change and demand better treatment all day long and they may or may not listen. I would recommend that you watch out for yourself and always have your best interest, no company is worth dying for; no company is your family" "…and never work yourself to death over some company, because they don't care about you and you shouldn't care too much about them either"

  39. Why would anyone want to work for these giant companies??? Just get a normal job at a small-medium sized company and enjoy your life.

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