Facebook Firestorm Burns Credit Union
A Facebook firestorm erupted Tuesday after the $1 billion Max Credit Union acknowledged it was investigating whether an employee commented about a member’s account on the popular social media site.
After that acknowledgement was posted on the Montgomery, Ala.-based cooperative’s Facebook site, it received more than 60 comments from members and non-members who were troubled by the allegation, and others who criticized or questioned the way the credit union was managing the breach.
However, the Max CU also received positive comments from members, non-members and former employees vouching for the cooperative’s strong and long-time community reputation, good business practices and excellent service.
The employee was placed on leave pending the results of the investigation under way by the Autauga County Sheriff’s Department in Prattville, DJ Markwell, senior vice president of marketing at Max CU, said.
“We are waiting out the due process on this,” Markwell said, emphasizing that this breach incident is only an allegation. “There is nothing new to say other than the statement that’s on our Facebook page. I think we are going to have to let the investigation play out so that we can see what really is the truth.”
Because the investigation is under way, Markwell could not discuss the specifics about the alleged Facebook comment made by the employee.
However, a local TV news station, WFSA, reported Wednesday that screenshots of the posts allegedly made by the Max CU employee were found on a Facebook group called "Prattville-Millbrook Montgomery Black List." The user allegedly posted information that a couple has an account at the credit union with a negative balance. The posts used the hashtags, “perks of my new job” and “I know everyone's dirt,” according to WFSA.
A Facebook search of “Prattville-Millbrook Montgomery Black List” comes up empty, but there are at least six variations of closed groups with the words Prattville, Millbrook and Montgomery. Prattville and Millbrook are suburbs of Montgomery.
“That’s why there is an investigation,” Markwell said. “We never heard of them [Prattville-Millbrook Montgomery Black List] until this week.”
In the credit union’s Facebook post about the breach investigation, it also noted a thread of commentary began on the company’s Facebook page on March 13, and that MAX responded on its page to those concerned that the matter is under investigation.
However, that commentary thread was apparently deleted by the people who made the March 13 posts, according to Markwell. It’s unknown why those posts were deleted.
The credit union became aware of this alleged breach on March 12 by two people who informed branch employees, Markwell said.
The county sheriff’s department did not return a phone call and email Thursday seeking comments about the investigation.