According to a report from CNET, a Facebook employee named Qin Chen jumped off from the fourth floor of the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California to end his life. The 38-year-old man, who was a resident of San Mateo, is currently thought to have committed suicide with no foul play involved.
When the district police and the Menlo Park Fire Protection arrived at the scene he was unresponsive, so they tried to revive him but failed. Thus, he was announced dead at the scene.
The police said that the investigation was done ethically. A spokesperson from Facebook said in a statement that, “We’re cooperating with police in their investigation and providing support to employees,” and “While the family is being notified, we have no information to share.”
However, a YouTuber known as Shyu felt there was something fishy about the case, especially since he used to work as a Facebook employee himself. He then uploaded a video to shed light on Facebook’s company culture and to perhaps help give Chen’s family and friends some closure on what might have motivated him to take his life.
He had also collected some intel from Facebook Blind, which is an internal anonymous chat app, and found out that many of the other Facebook employees suspected that Facebook was trying to cover up the suicide as just another “death at workplace”.
Shyu posted the video on Monday and explained details of Chen’s suicide that he had collected from the Blind app. However, Shyu still stresses that these are just speculations and have not been verified.
According to Shyu, based on the posts in the Blind app:
- Chen used to work for Facebook’s advertising group, which can also be described as “a very high-stress group.”
- Chen’s performance rating dropped, and the company moved him to the PIP or Performance Improvement Plan – or according to the YouTuber, “the path to you getting fired”. For an employee, being put under this program will cause great embarrassment.
- Chen tried to make things better by requesting to be transferred to a different team before he was put in PIP.
- He allegedly found another team but the manager held back his transfer by convincing him to stay on his team till the end of the quarter and promised to give him a good performance rating.
- After the quarter ended, he received a bad rating by his manager that stopped him from moving to a different team.
- Chen had enough when they assigned him to do a Severe Site Event (SEV) review. He reportedly tried to delay the process but was blocked by an internal script.
- One hour before the review, he allegedly committed suicide.
All of these assumptions were collected by Shyu from the Blind app but the video, and he also showed a poll where 61.8% of the employees admitted that they feel stressed out.