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Netflix Adds Anti-Censorship Section to Corporate Culture Memo

'If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you,' the streaming service has advised employees


Streaming giant Netflix revised its company culture guidelines for the first time in five years to seek “excellence.”

This includes asking employees to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and embrace anti-censorship practices.

The document was originally a 125-slide presentation created by co-founder Reed Hasting in 2009 to regulate the company without a traditional corporate structure.

Netflix’s culture focuses on employee decision-making, candid feedback, and maintaining a “dream team” standard.

Now titled “Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence,” the guideline has been updated seemingly to support the company following a period of poor performance.

The platform added spending “members’ money wisely” to its “Valued Behaviors” section, urging employees to prioritize the company’s financial bottom line after reporting it lost roughly 200,000 subscribers during the first fiscal quarter of 2022.

The news, included in the company’s April financial report, marks the first time in over a decade that the service has lost customers. Shares in Netflix fell 25% following the report’s publication.

“Our revenue growth has slowed considerably as our results and forecast below show,” Netflix wrote in a letter to its shareholders. “COVID clouded the picture by significantly increasing our growth in 2020, leading us to believe that most of our slowing growth in 2021 was due to the COVID pull forward.”

The company cited account sharing and competition from YouTube, Amazon, and Hulu as two of the biggest obstacles.

Netflix also added a new section to its cultural guidelines titled “Artistic Expression.”

Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,” the section reads. “While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.”

“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you,” the company warns.

In addition to promoting better financial judgment and tolerance for a broader range of content, Netflix added an “Ethical Expectation” policy wherein employees are instructed to safeguard confidential information “whether or not it is marked ‘confidential.’ “

“Last fall, Netflix fired B. Pagels-Minor, a leader of the company’s internal transgender and non-binary employee resource group, for allegedly leaking internal data about metrics and money” from a company memo Bloomberg News went on to publish, reports NPR. Pagels-Minor is believed to have been angered into action after the streaming platform released Dave Chappell’s controversial comedy special The Closer.

The last time Netflix added a noteworthy update to its company culture policies was in 2017.

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