Bulletins

Want to buy some bulletproof glass or hand sanitizer from Meta?

The social network is disposing of some extra supplies.

Hand sanitizer

Facebook's parent company has more hand sanitizer than it knows what to do with.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Know someone in the market for a few hundred boxes of alcohol wipes, thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer or some bulletproof glass partitions? Meta is selling all this and more at its Menlo Park headquarters in an auction closing Thursday. (What, the company didn't think it could move it on Facebook Marketplace?)


The items were listed Tuesday on Silicon Valley Disposition, an auction site where companies sell off old assets like furniture, computers and, apparently, a historic working paper mill in East Texas. Meta’s impressive haul includes pallets of sanitizing spray, solar panels, cage fencing, emergency survival blankets and ponchos, ladders, air filters and even two Vespas.

Tim Stack, the chief operating officer of Silicon Valley Disposition, has seen all kinds of corporate auctions, but said the amount of hand sanitizer on offer in Meta’s auction stood out.

Silicon Valley Disposition

“This is one of the only companies that we’ve been involved in recently where hand sanitizers were being sold in such quantity,” Stack told Protocol. “They’re just in a position where they need to get rid of a lot of their surplus assets, and that just happens to be one of them.”

The address listed on the auction is 1350 Willow Road, which is part of a 59-acre site that Meta is seeking to redevelop into 1.6 million square feet of offices, 1,729 homes, a 151,603-square-foot hotel and as much as 200,000 square feet of retail space.

Even if Meta is simply preparing to move out of one or more of its buildings, one wonders why the company is auctioning off so many alcohol wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer two months before employees are set to stream back into the office. "We’re in the process of working to repurpose the building. In order to do this we have to clear out the building and its contents," said Meta spokesperson Tracy Clayton. "This includes the removal items that we have not been able to reuse, donate or otherwise have no further use. In an effort to be as sustainable as possible and not discard these items into a landfill, we determined that auctioning these would be a better route. We’ve previously donated large quantities of hand sanitizer and wipes, but have since exhausted that channel as many are unable to receive or use them at the moment."

Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes aren’t the only interesting items up for bidding. Meta is also selling several portable, bulletproof ballistic partitions. It’s not clear why Meta has these, or why it’s getting rid of them now. Stack couldn’t say why Meta had bulletproof partitions in stock, but said he was reminded of when he helped Alphabet’s failed internet-balloon startup Loon auction off its assets, which included boat hoists turned into launch stations for balloons the size of tennis courts.

“That’s the thing with companies like the Googles and the Facebooks,” Stack said. “All these major companies have so many different divisions within their company that we just never hear of.”

Update: This story was updated Jan. 20 at 4:40 p.m. PT with Meta's statement.

Latest Bulletins

Mobile game revenue will decline for the first time in history this year, market research firm Newzoo now says in a revised outlook for the 2022 global games market. While the whole game industry is expected to contract by 4.3% — another first since Newzoo began tracking the market in 2007 — the company is predicting a 6.4% decline in mobile game spending on top of a 4.2% decline in console game spending.

Keep Reading Show less

Amazon is planning to lay off thousands of employees, Protocol has learned, ahead of what the company has cautioned will be a slow holiday shopping season.

Keep Reading Show less

Google agreed to pay $391.5 million and make changes to its user privacy controls as part of a settlement with a coalition of 40 state attorneys general. The coalition accused Google of misleading customers about location-tracking practices that informed ad targeting.

Keep Reading Show less

FTX has filed for bankruptcy and the crypto company also announced that founder Sam Bankman-Fried has resigned as CEO.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce recently updated its internal policies to make it easier for managers to terminate employees for performance issues without HR involvement, Protocol has learned, a move that comes as the software giant looks to shed as many as 2,500 jobs.

Keep Reading Show less

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said fraud and scam reports comprise the top complaint it receives about virtual currencies — and that customers are finding little help from companies when it happens.

Keep Reading Show less

Elon Musk sent his first email to Twitter staff late Wednesday, warning of a difficult economic road ahead and telling employees they need to be in office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. "Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message," he began, ominously.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance isn’t buying FTX after all. The crypto giant said Wednesday it has decided that it “will not pursue the potential acquisition” based on a “corporate due diligence” review.

Keep Reading Show less

On Wednesday, John Kerry unveiled a plan for a new carbon credit program aimed at mobilizing private capital to help middle-income countries transition away from coal and move toward renewable energy.

Keep Reading Show less

Meta announced it was laying off more than 11,000 employees Wednesday morning, slashing jobs in its recruiting department and refocusing its remaining team on AI discovery, ads, and its investment in the metaverse.

"I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a message to employees that was also posted online. "I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted."

Keep Reading Show less

Al Gore has one mission this week at COP27, and that’s to give climate negotiators what he hopes will be a critical tool to address the crisis at hand: an independent, global inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, down to the individual facility.

The Climate TRACE coalition just released the world’s most detailed inventory of global greenhouse gas emissions, which Gore, a founding member, is unveiling on Wednesday at the United Nations climate summit in Egypt.

Keep Reading Show less

Way back in March, your friendly Protocol Climate team offered you some tips for writing a climate plan that doesn’t suck. Surely you took that advice. But if for some reason you didn’t, the United Nations has your back.

Keep Reading Show less

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said Tuesday the crypto powerhouse signed a deal to acquire rival FTX.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce is preparing for a major round of layoffs that could affect as many as 2,500 workers across the software vendor, Protocol has learned, in a bid to cut costs amid a new activist investor challenge and harsh economic conditions.

Keep Reading Show less

BlockFi has introduced a new digital assets interest product for accredited investors, after previously agreeing to shut down a yield-paying crypto product that the SEC said was illegal.

Keep Reading Show less

The Justice Department said Monday it seized $3.4 billion worth of bitcoin stolen in the 2012 hack of the Silk Road dark web marketplace.

Keep Reading Show less

U.S. election infrastructure is exceedingly secure, and voter fraud here is so rare it’s comparable to your annual chances of getting struck by lightning. Despite this, former President Donald Trump and a long list of allies in the Republican Party have spent the last two years questioning the overall integrity of the U.S. election system. Many of those allies are now candidates themselves, and their coordinated attack on the country’s status as a democracy is not a relic of 2020. Some have already started repeating these “Big Lie” charges ahead of next week’s midterms. And the social platforms that help them spread their message have prepared few measures to stop it.

Keep Reading Show less

The White House just laid out its climate tech priorities to reach net zero by 2050.

Keep Reading Show less

Coinbase said Thursday that it lost more users in the third quarter. But the decline wasn’t the disastrous drop that Wall Street was expecting, and that sparked a rally in the crypto company’s shares after-hours.

Keep Reading Show less

The Biden administration announced $9 billion in funding Wednesday to improve home efficiency, which could help support the installation of up to 500,000 heat pumps. With winter approaching and utilities warning of gas shortages, there are some major challenges facing the technology that money can be used to tackle.

Keep Reading Show less

Block beat earnings expectations, with strong growth largely fueled by its Cash App business. Traders sent shares up more than 12% after-hours Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

Stripe is laying off 14% of its staff, its co-founders said Thursday, as the fintech startup must start "building differently for leaner times."

Keep Reading Show less

Roku saw its revenue growth slow in Q3, and warned investors Wednesday that things are about to get worse: “A lot of Q4 ad campaigns are being canceled,” said Roku CEO Anthony Wood during the company’s Q4 earnings call. “We’re seeing lots of big categories pull back. Telecom, insurance … even toy marketers are planning on reducing their spending.”

Keep Reading Show less

Green jobs and corporate climate pledges abound, but skilled sustainability professionals are scarce.

Keep Reading Show less

Robinhood reported a drop in third-quarter revenue but also a narrower loss on Wednesday, in a sign that it might be stabilizing its business as it attempts to recover from a staggering drop in the stock and crypto trading activity that fueled its growth.

Keep Reading Show less
Bulletins