"He tried to make a statement in such a public fashion and it seems that Facebook leadership has simply muted it"

Facebook has come under fire for covering up the suicide of an Asian employee.

CNET reports that a Qin Chen, 38, committed suicide on Thursday by jumping off the company building’s headquarters.

“Preliminary investigation by the Menlo Park Police Department indicates that there is no foul play involved in this apparent suicide,” Menlo Park Police Department said in a statement.

“Menlo Park Police Officers and Menlo Park Fire Protection District personnel responded, and when they arrived, found the victim unresponsive. Firefighters and paramedics administered medical aid but were unable to revive the victim.”

Chen was a full-time software engineer from China who was employed at Facebook under a H-1B visa, according to Patrick Shyu – a former Facebook employee who now runs a YouTube channel.

“We were saddened to learn that one of our employees passed away at our Menlo Park headquarters earlier today,” Facebook said in a company statement.

“We’re cooperating with police in their investigation and providing support to employees,” it continued. “While the family is being notified, we have no information to share. We hope to provide an update when we learn additional information from law enforcement.”

However, Shyu heavily criticized the social media company for “covering up” the suicide in a YouTube video titled Facebook Employee Suicide Cover-Up.

In the video Shyu said, “people need to know the story we need to understand what happened and Facebook management HR 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,” he added. “They’re simply saying that an employee passed away and that if you need help you should go get some help get some counselling.”

Shyu believes that Chen was trying to “send a message out”, which Facebook management are “completely ignoring” and are “sweeping it under the rug.”

“[Chen] tried to make a statement in such a public fashion and it seems that Facebook leadership has simply muted it,” the YouTuber said.

Shyu also shed some light on exactly what Chen was doing at Facebook, revealing he “was working in the advertising group, which is all day a very high-stress group.”

“Any small technical issue it can cause millions of dollars in revenue loss,” Shyu explained. “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 – the performance improvement plan – which is essentially the path to you getting fired.”

Shyu said Chen tried to look for a transfer and found another team, which his manager seemed to be OK with. However, it was alleged that he was “betrayed by his manager” who convinced him to stay on the team until the end of the quarter.

He was supposedly promised by the manager to receive a good performance rating before he switched teams but when performance season came, the manager gave him a low rating, blocking his ability to transfer teams.

Shyu described the incident as “work place bullying”, saying it was “humiliating”. He also quoted another member of Chen’s team who said, “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 died.”

Shyu concludes his video by demanding a full investigation from Facebook. “I would personally like to see a full report on this,” he said. “I would recommend if you work at Facebook to not let the issue rest to continue bring it for the sake of Qin’s family such that they will get the justice and get the explanations that they need.”

 

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