Facebook told staff it would seal off some internal message boards to prevent leaking. The change was immediately leaked.

Facebook told employees on Tuesday it would restrict access to some internal message boards to prevent leaks, The New York Times first reported on Wednesday.

The company told staff it would restrict access to some employee message boards that relate to platform safety and protecting elections, both of which come under the umbrella of "Integrity," per The Times.

Some groups would be made private instead of public in the coming months, Facebook said, according to the report. Facebook also said it would go through some Integrity-related discussion groups and start removing people that don't work directly on safety and security, The Times reported.

The move comes a week after former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testified before Congress. Haugen left the company in May 2021, and later leaked internal documents to The Wall Street Journal. Haugen has also filed at least eight whistleblower complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

An engineering director wrote in the announcement, viewed by The Times, that, "as everyone is likely aware, we've seen an increase in the number of Integrity-related leaks in recent months."

"These leaks aren't representative of the nuances and complexities involved in our work and are often taken out of context, leading to our work being mischaracterized externally," the director added, per The Times.

Facebook appeared to confirm the change in a statement to The Times, and said the move had been in the works for months. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook confirmed the authenticity of the announcement viewed by The Times.

A Facebook spokesperson told Insider in a statement: "Leaks decrease the effectiveness, efficiency, and morale of the teams working every day to address the challenges that come with operating a platform for billions of people.

"They can also put employees working on sensitive subjects at risk externally and lead to complex topics being misrepresented and misunderstood," they said.

The Times viewed internal comments from staff reacting to the announcement. While some were supportive of the change, others said it reduced transparency and collaboration at the company.

"Siloing off the people who are dedicated to integrity will harm both active efforts to collaborate and reduce the cultural expectation that integrity is everyone's responsibility," one employee comment viewed by The Times read.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement following Haugen's testimony that the company's work had been "taken out of context and used to construct a false narrative."

Haugen is also due to meet with Facebook's independent Oversight Board.

Another whistleblower named Sophie Zhang, a former data scientist at Facebook who went public with her criticism of the company in April 2021, said this week she would be willing to testify before Congress.