Project Veritas has hit another home run!
In a stunning undercover video, Project Veritas was able to get footage of Facebook content moderators ADMITTING their bias on camera.
One moderator was caught saying:
If someone's wearing MAGA hat, I'm going to delete them for terrorism.
Conservatives have long complained that big tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google have penalized right-leaning voices in their algorithms.
Now, the evidence continues to support those fears.
See the entire undercover video of Facebook's content moderators below:
In many ways, Facebook content moderators can control what is allowed and what isn't allowed on the platform.
The social media giant has an algorithm that flags content as inappropriate.
When content has been flagged enough times, it can go to a human moderator for review.
The undercover video appears to suggest that Facebook's content moderators are more likely to ban conservative speech than liberal speech.
According to the Washington Times:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long insisted that the company is politically neutral, but the same apparently can’t be said for all of its content moderators.
The social-media giant said it would review its training and oversight after a Project Veritas sting released Tuesday showed moderators on hidden-camera footage claiming that they delete pro-Trump and conservative posts; that the company harbors an anti-Trump bias, and that Facebook shadow-bans content, despite its claims to the contrary.
In an email, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Our reviewers work hard to keep our platform safe for billions of users every day.”
“The reviewers’ decisions are regularly evaluated to ensure our policies are applied fairly and accurately,” said the spokesperson. “We do not promote political viewpoints of any stripe and the comments included in this video are not consistent with our policies. We will be reviewing our training and oversight to make sure these decisions are made consistent with our policies.”
The Project Veritas video featured an interview with former content moderator Zach McElroy of Cognizant, a third-party firm used by Facebook to police the platform, who said that about three-quarters of the posts flagged for “civic harassment” tilted to the right.
“I saw a stark contrast between Republican versus Democrats in that queue,” said Mr. McElroy. “I saw upwards of 75% to 80% of the posts in that queue were from Republican pages, politicians, journalists, and pages that supported the president or supported conservatives.”
He said the content moderators, who lean heavily to the left, “are essentially in charge of what gets said and what gets stifled.”
“And in speaking with a lot of them, I found that they are not at all shy to exercise their political will in deleting or leaving up content, whether or not they’re allowed to or whether or not they’ll get penalized for it, especially when they’ve got nothing to lose, that is to say, they’re getting laid off,” Mr. McElroy said.
While Facebook has a hands-off policy on Mr. Trump’s posts, he said, “the fortunate thing is even if he does say something, if it gets repeated, we can at least get the average Joe.”
Another content moderator said, “I think they’re very biased about who they’re going to protect,” adding that he believes that Facebook shadow-bans, saying, “it’s clear that people’s content don’t come up because it’s been de-filtered off the queue.”
“They’re doing something, man. They’re just trying to pretend that they’re not,” he said.
Several moderators expressed anti-Trump sentiments. “Time to get the Cheetoh out of office,” said one staffer.
Another man said that “like half the time when I delete people for pro-Trump sh*t, I’m like, you should be on a watch list, dude,” while a woman said that on her last day with the company, “If someone is wearing a MAGA hat, I am going to delete them for terrorism and just going to like go crazy.”
Mr. McElroy pointed to the disparate handling of two politically charged graphics: He said a drawing showing Mr. Trump bleeding from the mouth with a knife to his neck was allowed to remain on the platform, while a cartoon of Elmer Fudd “shooting” Democrat Beto O’Rourke was removed.
“There’s no difference between the two,” Mr. McElroy said. “There’s no logical reason why the determined reaction to those two posts would be different. They should be the same.”
He said Facebook also made an exception to its policy against accusations of terrorism with a comment by CNN’s Don Lemon, who said in 2018 that white men are “the biggest terrorist threat in this country,” ruling that the remark was newsworthy.
What's particularly dangerous is that the big tech companies in Silicon Valley all appear to have the same political and philosophical leanings.
Instead of behaving like platforms and allowing people to publish things freely, these tech companies appear to be behaving like publishers, currating exactly what people are allowed to post.
Freedom of speech is important on social networks.
It also directly impacts how people are able to learn about current events and the points of view that people are exposed to.
The undercover video also suggests that Facebook moderators view Trump supporters as Nazis.
While the "Nazi" accusation has been an insult frequently seen in online forums, some are surprised that this is the point of view that "unbiased" content moderators are taking.
The Epoch Times has more details on how Facebook's moderators are lumping Nazies and Trump supporters together:
A person identified as team lead for Facebook content review at Accenture, another company contracted by Facebook, was caught on hidden camera saying that he previously “spent quite a bit of time looking at pictures of hate organizations, Hitler, Nazis, MAGA, you know, Proud Boys, all that stuff, all day long.”
“That’s kind of how the moderators are conditioned to think, like, ‘Hey, anything that’s right-wing, hey it could possibly be on the hate list,’” Hartwig said, adding that “there’s no left-leaning individuals on that list.”
The list he referred to is called “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations.” It includes terrorists and terrorist organizations, some neo-Nazi figures, and even former German Nazi officials.
But the list also includes right-wing personalities such as populist commentator Paul Joseph Watson, InfoWars host Alex Jones, and conservative activist Laura Loomer.
Another former Facebook moderator at Cognizant, Zach McElroy, told The Epoch Times that Facebook allows violent threats and even death threats against people on the list.
Facebook has a rule against death threats, which are also illegal. But around July 2019, Facebook updated its content policy to add an exception to allow “threats that could lead to death (and other forms of high-severity violence)” against people and groups on the “Dangerous Individuals and Organizations” list.
After some public backlash, around July 9–10, 2019, Facebook quietly removed the exception from the publicly available version of its policy. But this change was never communicated to Facebook’s content moderators, and, in practice, the exception remained in place, according to McElroy.
He couldn’t say if the policy has changed, since he was laid off in February.
McElroy confirmed that he didn’t see any left-wing or even far-left figures or groups on the list.
McElroy’s story was first released by Veritas in a June 23 video.
He said that at least one Facebook algorithm seemed designed to flag predominantly right-leaning content.
Moreover, he and several Veritas undercover reporters secretly recorded a number of Facebook moderators talking about political bias in content policing, either their own or that they observed in others.
“We rig the game so that it could work on the left side,” one person, identified as a Facebook moderator at Cognizant, was recorded as saying.
That aligns with previous criticism of Facebook’s content policy, which is concentrated around things like hate speech, a concept much more widely recognized on the political left.
Several moderators were recorded as saying that they were removing any content that came their way that was conservative or supporting President Donald Trump, regardless of whether it violated Facebook policy or not.
McElroy noted that part of the reason the moderators at his office were breaking the policy and openly talking about it was that they learned in November 2019 that they were all to be laid off. His perception was that at least some of the moderators were likely doing it already before they learned about the layoff.
Facebook spokeswoman Heather King responded to the June 23 Veritas video during a Capitol Hill conference call with Facebook’s Washington office and congressional staffers on Facebook’s Election Integrity programs.
This exposure is critical, especially before the November elections.
If conservative voices are supressed, then it will be harder than ever to elect Constution-supporting politicians into office.
If it weren't for social media, then President Trump would have had a much harder time in 2016.
Social media allows us to bypass the mainstream media filters.
But if recent history is any indication, it appears that social media is slowly evolving to become part of the "old guard."