Facebook’s chief information security officer is leaving the company over differences about its handling of disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a report in The New York Times.
The Times reported Monday that Alex Stamos will be stepping down in August after clashing with other executives, including Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, over how Facebook responded to the activity of Russian trolls on the platform.
Stamos had reportedly advocated for greater disclosure of what Facebook had discovered while investigating the alleged Russian disinformation campaign on the platform ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Stamos said on Twitter that contrary to "rumors" he's "still fully engaged" at Facebook.
Despite the rumors, I'm still fully engaged with my work at Facebook. It's true that my role did change. I'm currently spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security.— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 19, 2018
But he acknowledged a change in his role. According to Monday’s report, Stamos’s responsibilities have changed since he decided to leave. The group that he oversees has shrunk from 120 people to just three, and he is mostly engaged in communicating about the platform’s privacy work.
Facebook declined to comment on the report. In another tweet, Stamos said his team “has never been prevented or discouraged from investigating any Russian activity by any executives.”
The company has been reeling Monday over a report that 50 million users had their data compromised when a research firm associated with the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, reportedly obtained their information without the users' consent. Facebook has promised an investigation and Cambridge Analytica has denied any wrongdoing.
Lawmakers have criticized Facebook and other tech giants for allegedly not doing enough to fight Russian influence in the 2016 campaign.
The social network identified roughly 3,000 ads purchased by Russian-linked groups during the presidential race and handed them over to Congress last year.