Earlier today, Project Veritas released an investigative report detailing how Google is using artificial intelligence (AI) to derank certain types of content. Shortly after that report was released, Project Veritas realized its Reddit account had been suspended. Now Project Veritas has started to receive questionable privacy complaints on the YouTube video of this investigative report.
The privacy complaints allege that Project Veritas displays private information 23 seconds and 45 seconds into the video.
?DEVELOPING: We have received two YouTube privacy complaints for undercover interviews in today's video (https://t.co/seGC0VcRzz) which exposed a Google exec saying prevent next Trump situation," another engineer confirming "ML Fairness." Now is time to download video and SHARE. pic.twitter.com/MKO4dkBy27
These timestamps feature undercover interviews with a Google executive and a Google software engineer talking about Google’s “machine learning (ML) fairness” algorithm.
A Google insider featured in Project Veritas’ investigative report says that this algorithm figures out the signals that are being generated from people’s clicks and then decides which signals it wants to amplify and which signals it wants to suppress. The insider added that this algorithm allows Google to act as a gatekeeper between users and the content they want to access and is used to filter out content that creates undesirable outcomes for Google.
It’s not clear how either of these clips violate YouTube’s privacy guidelines. While the clips do name both of the Google employees, this is newsworthy information and standard practice for investigative journalism.
Currently, these privacy complaints are being reviewed by YouTube and no action has been taken against Project Veritas’ video. However, Project Veritas received similar privacy complaints on its previous investigative report which led to the video being taken down.
This previous report which exposed Pinterest’s internal blacklists was censored heavily as a result of these questionable privacy complaints. Not only was the video removed from YouTube but Project Veritas was also censored on Twitter and other journalists who talked about the report in their videos had them removed.
If YouTube responds to the privacy complaints on this new investigative report in the same way, it could trigger a similar wave of big tech censorship around a report that once again uncovers practices that these tech companies probably don’t want the public to see.