Facebook is dragging a few major tech companies into a public shame spiral in the wake of a new New York Times report. The report alleged that Facebook gave several tech companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix, more access to users’ personal data than it ever disclosed to the public (despite claiming for years that it never sold user data). That access included giving Spotify and Netflix “the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages,” according to the Times.
Now the official Netflix Twitter account is trying to set the record straight, by responding to the New York Times‘ tweet of the story. In a rather glib response, it tweeted: “Netflix never asked for, or accessed, anyone’s private messages. We’re not the type to slide into your DMs.”
Netflix never asked for, or accessed, anyone's private messages. We're not the type to slide into your DMs.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 19, 2018
While Netflix was clearly trying for a sort of “how do you do, fellow kids” response, it was pretty tone deaf considering it is being implicated in connection with a fairly egregious privacy invasion against users. Understandably, Twitter users weren’t impressed with the blasé tweet.
maybe a jokey joke isn’t the best way to respond when your company is a part of a serious accusation.
— Donovan (@cxcope) December 19, 2018
Some Netflix employees had the capability to do so and probably did without management knowing about it. And something this serious should not be some sly joke about sliding into people’s DMs. Our fundamental human right to privacy is not a laughing matter.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 19, 2018
Facebook: come over
Netflix: can’t I’m busy
Facebook: I’ll give you full access
— Lobes (@Lobes) December 19, 2018
A Netflix spokesperson sent over a more official statement, which explains that its collaboration with Facebook was short-lived:
“Over the years we have tried various ways to make Netflix more social. One example of this was a feature we launched in 2014 that enabled members to recommend TV shows and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or Netflix. It was never that popular so we shut the feature down in 2015. At no time did we access people’s private messages on Facebook or ask for the ability to do so.”
Now it’s just up to users to decide if they believe it.