Project Veritas is continuing with reports featuring Facebook whistleblowers who claim that the tech and social media giant is exhibiting all manner of political and ideological biases, particularly at the moderation/ensuing censorship level.
All these, the non-profit media outlet suggests, add up to painting the big picture of Facebook as essentially anti-conservative – this against the grand backdrop of the upcoming US presidential election, where the internet behemoth’s influence on the digital public square is believed to be massive.
In fact, Project Veritas goes as far as dubbing it “interference” in an election – a serious accusation, and here’s the rationale behind it.
The latest Facebook insider (until recently employed by the giant’s moderator contractor Cognizant) is Ryan Hartwig. While a third-party operation, Cognizant is expected to follow Facebook’s rules on which content to allow, or banish from the platform.
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It’s a flawed system, as the previous content moderation insider revealed – where moderators disturbingly frequently seem to rely on personal biases allow or delete content posted on the planet’s biggest social media platform – at times even flying in the face of Facebook’s own rules. (And the fact that their handiwork builds on flawed algorithms that initially flag content, clearly doesn’t make things any better.)
Hartwig here, as Project Veritas explains, wore a hidden camera to document evidence of what’s going on in Facebook’s outsourced moderation realm – and his conclusion is that of rampant suppression of conservative, Republican, and pro-Trump content, as the giant apparently continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth, declaring commitment to allowing free speech and a platform equally friendly to all points of view.
“People deserve to know what is going on,” Hartwig says at one point in his interview with the Project Veritas founder, James O’Keefe.
This former sub-contractor then describes the way content is managed at Facebook level as “six people who decide – and they all think the same.” Anti-conservative, that is.
Six-or-so policy deciders per 2.4 billion users – if true, this is not good news.
“We rig the game so that It could work on the left side,” a Cognizant/Facebook content moderator named Jose Moreno is heard saying in the video – this, apparently, as a means to uphold “freedom of speech.”
One example was when Cognizant policy and training manager Shawn Browder, overseeing 1,000 employees, told all content moderators in Hartwig’s section during the 2018 Pride Month that comments usually flagged as hate speech would suddenly be allowed on the platform – if, that is, these were “intended to raise awareness for Pride/LGBTQ.”
“This (awareness-raising) may occur especially in terms of attacking straight white males,” a screenshot of a communication sent out to Cognizant moderators in 2018 seems to shows.
One example given in this memo sent to moderators is that straight white males can be called “filth” – in case this label is slapped on them for “not fighting more on behalf of LGBTQ.”
This, Hartwig explains, is a specific exception, one when Facebook allows derogatory language to be used against a particular demographic.
The way Project Veritas surmised all this is to say that hate speech is allowed – if it’s intended to raise awareness for Pride/LGBTQ community.
Asked if this means that bias is allowed “in some cases – but not in others” – Hartwig replied, “Yes, correct” – without expanding on this any further.
The report goes on to declare this as “anti-white bias” and build on this topic by citing last year’s statements made by Leslie Brown – a former human resources contractor for another tech Giant, Google, who is now an HR executive at Facebook.
(Although, she’s now been fired after this leaked revelation – perhaps rather unfairly since she’s only telling the truth of what happens at Facebook, whether it’s supposed to or not.)
An audio recording purporting to be that of Brown responding to a question from a journalist, reveals that the HR exec thinks white males can be fired without worrying about discrimination charges.
Whether or not speaking about a specific case, Brown is heard saying, “Yeah, white man. No problem. You can’t do it that easily if there are other issues.”
A video recording of Brown is then shown where she – prompted by the interviewer who asked if it was “easier” if the issue involved a white male, responded affirmatively, adding, “No one has the white man’s back anymore.”
Brown then laughs – and clarifies that if such an employee, who thought they were terminated unjustly, tried to fight back – “most attorneys would just laugh.”