Meta, the parent company of Facebook, confirmed to TechCrunch that Jeren A. Miles, who had served as head of global community development, is no longer employed by the company after a video went viral on Facebook. Youtubewhich was later reposted on Reddit and other websitesfeaturing him in an amateur sting operation to catch pedophiles.
The two-hour video, posted by an amateur group called PCI Predator Catchers Indianapolis on its YouTube page, does not depict Miles being caught in a sex act, nor admitting to a specific sex act, or admitting to intending to perform a sex act. And it’s unclear what the legal ramifications of that will be, if any.
But it features two people interrogating Miles, who during interrogation admits to having graphic and inappropriate communications with a 13-year-old boy. It’s a pretty damning exchange that Miles later deleted his social profiles on sites like Facebook and Twitterand – whether he was fired or voluntarily resigned – Miles quit his job at Facebook over it.
“The seriousness of these allegations cannot be overstated. The individual is no longer employed by the company. We are actively investigating this situation and cannot provide further comment at this time,” a Meta spokesperson provided by Drew Pusateri said. I will point out that Pusateri also tried to talk me out of the news of this story over the phone before sending the statement, noting that other outlets weren’t covering it (thanks for the advice).
Meta feels like it’s been hit by waves of controversy for years, ranging from stories related to data protection and privacy, to problematic product executions and declining engagement numbers. Even underage sex scandals are nothing new at this point.
You could say it’s all part and parcel of being as big and exposed as Meta – billions of people around the world are regular users of its product portfolio, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Workplace and Oculus – although none of that does any good.
Coincidentally, the company tried to refresh his public relations misdemeanor, starting with appointing former British politician Nick Clegg as chairman of global affairs. They will have their work cut out for them.