Facebook Office Security Includes Batman-esque Weirdness

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Anti-bomb precautions and an emergency panic chute are just two examples of elaborate and unusual security measures intended to keep Facebook staff and founder Mark Zuckerberg himself safe at work, Business Insider reports.

Based on conversations with current and former Facebook security personnel, plus recently publicized internal documents, the report paints a picture of unusually robust security efforts. The intense precautions are a result of the challenge of keeping safe not only the high-profile Zuckerberg, but also the thousands of employees coming and going from the tech giant’s headquarters. Complicating what might otherwise be a more typical office security situation is the fact that modern-day Facebook has serious opponents and detractors, ranging from privacy advocates to those who blame the social media site for the unprecedented spread of misinformation across the internet, particularly when it comes to social and political issues.

Sources describe security details that have ramped up over the years, beginning reluctantly and becoming more robust over time.

“[Zuckerberg] was in his mid-20s,” one source said of the early days of lighter security. “He was developing a platform he truly believed was good. At the time he didn’t grasp the concept that there were haters out there.”

Even so, as Facebook grew and evolved, as did its security practices. These measures even went so far as to design the physical layout of office spaces around Zuckerberg’s personal security. While the area above the parking lots is used for office and workspaces, the lot directly beneath Zuckerberg’s desk is inaccessible to prevent a bombing attack.

The billionaire founder also reportedly has quick access to a bullet-proof conference room complete with panic button. Not only that, but plenty of employees also stand by a rumor that Zuckerberg’s work area includes a secret “panic chute” that would allow him to quickly exit to the parking lot, presumably for a quick emergency escape route. Facebook has not confirmed or denied such a feature.

Specifics aside, Facebook’s security detail is managed by Jill Leavens Jones, a former member of the U.S. Secret Service and head of the 70-person executive protection team at Facebook. In a public filing, it was revealed that the company’s board last year approved $10 million for an annual security allowance for the Zuckerberg family alone.

Constant monitoring takes place, both online and in the world at large, to identify and prioritize threats against Zuckerberg and other higher-profile executives. The company reports numerous Zuckerberg death threats each week.