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Project Veritas video: “Political Targeting” at Facebook

Project Veritas video: “Political Targeting” at Facebook

“According to the insider, the documents revealed a routine suppression of the distribution of conservative Facebook pages.”

https://youtu.be/qDqRnVUbqSs

In their latest investigation, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas group spoke to a former Facebook employee who alleges that political bias at the social media giant is very real.

She cites specific examples of people who have been targeted and even says that Facebook is trying to influence elections.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Facebook Insider Leaks Docs; Explains “Deboosting,” “Troll Report,” & Political Targeting in Video Interview

Project Veritas has obtained and published documents and presentation materials from a former Facebook insider. This information describes how Facebook engineers plan and go about policing political speech. Screenshots from a Facebook workstation show the specific technical actions taken against political figures, as well as “[e]xisting strategies” taken to combat political speech…

To gain a better understanding of the documents, Project Veritas spoke with the Facebook insider in an interview. The insider separated from Facebook in 2018 and was later hired by Project Veritas.

“I saw things that were going on that I personally found to be troubling.”

According to the insider, the documents revealed a routine suppression of the distribution of conservative Facebook pages. The technical action she repeatedly saw, and for which Project Veritas was provided documentation, was labeled ActionDeboostLiveDistribution. Said the insider, “I would see [this term] appear on several different conservative pages. I first noticed it with an account that I can’t remember, but I remember once I started looking at it, I also saw it on Mike Cernovich’s page, saw it on Steven Crowder’s page, as well as the Daily Caller’s page.”

The insider also says Facebook has expanded the meaning of “hate speech” to include non-hateful terms which are specifically used by conservatives like MSM (mainstream media) and SJW (social justice warrior).

“They’re shifting the goal post”

Also in the in the documents was a presentation, authored by Facebook engineers Seiji Yamamoto and Eduardo Arino de la Rubia, titled “Coordinating Trolling on FB.” Yamamoto is a Data Science Manager, and de la Rubia is a Chief Data Scientist at Facebook. The presentation appears to describe the current actions, as well as potential future actions, Facebook can take to combat alleged abusive behavior on the platform.

Yamamoto, who is responsible for “News Feed Reduction Strategy,” also authored a post where he said Facebook should address “…quite a bit of content near the perimeter of hate speech.” Said the Facebook insider, the “perimeter of hate speech” means “things that aren’t actually hate speech but that might offend somebody. Anything that is perceived as hateful but no court would define it as hate speech.”

The insider believes Yamamoto’s plans appears to be political in nature, rather than in response to abusive behaviors, “[i]t was clearly kind of designed… aimed to be the right wing meme culture that’s become extremely prevalent in the past few years. And some of the words that appeared on there were, using words like SJW… MSM… the New York Times doesn’t talk about the MSM. The independent conservative outlets are using that language.”

This is one of the most disturbing aspects of the report:

Yamamoto and de la Rubia’s presentation says that “troll accounts,” can have their internet bandwidth limited and experience forced glitches like frequent “auto-logout[s]” and the failed upload of comments. These “special features” would be triggered “leading up to important elections.”

Here are some other details via the Project Veritas Twitter feed:

Watch the whole report below. It’s 19 minutes long but worth the time:

Featured image via YouTube.

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Comments

legacyrepublican | March 1, 2019 at 9:16 am

I think we should call him Suckerberg, like iceberg, because he can sink all of the suckers who use Facebook. And he can sink us for reasons known only to him, the God of social media.

This right here is instant grounds for revoking any and all Section 230 CDA protection as a “common carrier”.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to SDN. | March 1, 2019 at 10:30 am

    That is an interesting idea. I use facebook aliases to log onto some sites, but I don’t allow it post to facebook, and I otherwise lock down the account. Since no one sees the actual account, they have no way to take it down.

    Milhouse in reply to SDN. | March 1, 2019 at 11:01 am

    That is nonsense. Facebook is not a common carrier, and the CDA does not deal with those or give them any sort of protection. CDA §230 protects interactive computer services, and nothing here is at all grounds for terminating Facebook’s protection under that. ICSes are not expected to be politically neutral; whoever told you otherwise lied to you.

    Indeed the whole point of §230 was to allow online forums to exist without having to be completely hands off as common carriers must be. It arose out of the AOL case where a court found that since AOL was moderating chat rooms by deleting obscene or harassing content it was a publisher rather than a common carrier and was responsible for whatever it didn’t delete. Online forums could either do no moderating at all, or else they had to do such heavy moderating that nobody (least of all private bloggers with day jobs, such as Prof Jacobson) could afford it. If that had prevailed forums like this one we’re on now could not have been created. CDA §230 is the only reason we are here now.

    §230 says that interactive computer services may “restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable“, and may also provide users with “the technical means to restrict access to [such] material”, without thereby being “treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”.

    The exact same law applies to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Legal Insurrection, Breitbart, the Daily Kos, HuffPo, and every other place where users can provide content without first going through a strict moderator, but where there are moderators who come along later and clean up anything they find objectionable. Without it such forums could not exist without becoming choked with spam, pr0n, and the most vile hate speech imaginable. I know some of what the moderators here delete; in particular I know that rape jokes are not tolerated here, as well they shouldn’t be. But without §230 they’d have to be. So would ads for dodgy pharmaceuticals, money-making schemes, anatomical enhancements, feelthy pitcuers of “barely legal” bare illegals, and all the other crap you see on unmoderated sites.

    So no, §230 is vital and must not be repealed; and without repealing it Facebook gets to pull this crap. It’s their site, they make the rules. If you don’t like it (and I don’t), don’t use it. I only have an account because some people refuse to communicate any other way, some people send links to things they put there, and something like 10 times a year my work requires me to test things on it (I have it set for my posts to be visible only to me; every time I post it asks me incredulously whether I really meant that.)

      Concise in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      What the heck is this, your term paper? But good to know that there is no limit on text in case I get drunk enough to want to post some really deep musings. My advice, try to be a little more succinct. I am disinclined to read you seriously from the start and this multi-chapter nonsense is a non-starter.

        Milhouse in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

        The truth can’t be condensed to 144 characters. If I just wrote that what SDN wrote is nonsense nobody would know why, or have any reason to believe me over him. I’d be accused of being an arrogant know-nothing sh*t like you just showed yourself to be. This way anyone who actually cares about the truth and likes to be informed knows the facts, and those who attack me are exposed as worthless people.

          Concise in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm

          A little briefer than your first post so some marks for that but you’re still not very persuasive, at least for me, but I may be biased because you called me a know-nothing sh*t. By the way, can I use that for my next log-in pseudonym?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | March 2, 2019 at 10:28 pm

          You are a know-nothing sh*t. Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of; everyone is ignorant about a lot of things. Know-nothingism is when someone is proud of their ignorance, and objects to being informed. I gave you the facts, and instead of being grateful you complained because explaining them takes too long for a tweet.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Milhouse really needs to find a dictionary and look up “publisher”.

      When Facebook censors conservatives, they are a publisher under CDA230. Common carriers can’t alter content. It’s that simple, and a wall of babble can’t change that.

        tom_swift in reply to SDN. | March 1, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        Could look up “the truth” too.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | March 2, 2019 at 10:24 pm

        When Facebook censors conservatives, they are a publisher under CDA230.

        No, they are not. You are lying through your f—ing teeth. §230 specifically says the exact opposite.

        Common carriers can’t alter content.

        And Facebook has never claimed to be a common carrier.

Anything that is perceived as hateful but no court would define it as hate speech.

Um, no court in the USA would define anything as hate speech, because that is not a term or a concept that exists in US law.

    Concise in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Except when one is a defendant in a politically charged hate crime prosecution. Got to prove that racist motive because that’s what we want the state to do when persecuting, er, prosecuting the citizenry.

      Milhouse in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      A hate crime is by definition first a crime. Speech is not a crime, and nobody is prosecuted in the US for what they say. Therefore no court will ever define anything as hate speech, so the sentence quoted makes no sense.

        Concise in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

        I am mocking the absurd and pernicious concept known as the modern hate crime. People do occasionally use humor and sarcasm to attack bad ideas, and the modern hate crime is a bad idea.

          Milhouse in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

          No, it is not. It is a very good idea, as any honest conservative will readily agree. Motive has always been considered a legitimate factor in sentencing, and crimes done for worse reasons are punished more harshly than the same crimes done for less bad reasons. Targeting a victim because of some trait he shares with a larger group is morally worse than doing so because of some private reason, and it objectively does more harm because it strikes terror into the heart of everyone who shares that trait. Therefore it ought to be punished more harshly, and hate crime laws ensure both that judges do so, and also that the motive is proven to the satisfaction of an independent finder of fact rather than merely asserted by the prosecution.

          tom_swift in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 7:26 pm

          It is a very good idea, as any honest conservative will readily agree

          A ridiculous statement. And it doesn’t become any less ridiculous by insisting that a contrary opinion can only stem from dishonesty.

          Concise in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

          Some dishonest conservative thoughts (not yet indictable I hope). Part of the problem is that hate crimes target, well, “hateful thoughts,” and it is rather distasteful for the state to add extra punishment on the basis of wrongfully held beliefs. And, the state in general shouldn’t be in the business of favoring select groups with special protections. To clarify, these are policy arguments. I’m not directly contending here that these laws can’t be defended as constitutional, but something can be bad policy even if constitutional. Just curious, but can I assume you also favor laws providing racial and gender preferences?

          Concise in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 8:25 pm

          Oh and, I may also use “dishonest conservative” as a login id (maybe even a website name), although I also like your suggestion of “know-nothing sh^t.” If you have any more suggestions, please let me know.

          Milhouse in reply to Concise. | March 2, 2019 at 10:33 pm

          I repeat, motive has always been considered a legitimate factor in sentencing, for as long as our legal system has existed. No conservative has ever objected to this.

          Hate crime laws do not favor any select groups with special protections. Hate crimes depend only on the victim being selected for his membership in a larger group, not on which group it is. It is no more of a hate crime to beat someone for being black than for being white, or for being gay than for being straight.

    tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    that is not a term or a concept that exists in US law.

    Your apparent faith that this would slow anybody down much is inexplicable.

    “Emanations of penumbras” doesn’t exist in American law either, but it appears in at least one decision nonetheless, and does all its damage there.

Just delete your FakeBook account, you will live without it.

    MAB in reply to OldNuc. | March 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Did that more than 2 years ago and don’t miss it at all. In fact, I talk more often with friends now than before, and if we want to see each other there is always face time. Personal contact has been lost to a degree with all the newfangled gadgets. Yes they may make life easier for us, but they also make it less personal.

We cannot treat social media wholly like common carriers because they are more like broadcast stations than mail or telephones.

What we could do, though, is restrict them from interfering with speech that is not otherwise unlawful. That would leave room to put an end to ISIS (or whoever the next Islamist entity may be) snuff films, human trafficking, doxxing, threats, and libel.

It would still leave room for hyperbole, memes, and F-bombs (sigh). Honestly, I could do without the F-bombs and some of the more creative filthy expressions, but the SCOTUS overruled me on that one a looooong time ago.

    Milhouse in reply to Valerie. | March 1, 2019 at 11:32 am

    What we could do, though, is restrict them from interfering with speech that is not otherwise unlawful. That would leave room to put an end to ISIS (or whoever the next Islamist entity may be) snuff films, human trafficking, doxxing, threats, and libel.

    Only true threats, which is a very narrow category. Most things that many people would perceive as threats are protected by the first amendment. It would also prevent forums such as this one from deleting spam, pr0n, truly vile hate speech, outright antisemitism, communist propaganda (if the Prof should decide he doesn’t want that here), and all kinds of other garbage that a site owner might not want. Bad idea.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Bad idea for them maybe…sounds like it would kill facebook, which would be fine by me.

        Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 1, 2019 at 2:45 pm

        It would kill Facebook. It would also kill this forum, and every forum. By commenting here you have shown that you like using such forums; your proposal would make that impossible.

Is that really the leaker in that image or is it some joke representation from a GEICO commercial?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Concise. | March 1, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    well you could watch the video and find out.

      tom_swift in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 1, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      I always skip that stuff. Too much like watching TV for me. And I’d vote Democrat before I’d start watching TV again.

      Anything worth noting is worth putting in writing.

        Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | March 1, 2019 at 2:46 pm

        I kind of agree, but not really. I don’t like watching these videos and would appreciate a written version that I can scan. But video has impact that the written word doesn’t, and that’s what O’Keefe is going for.

          tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | March 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm

          Video is slow. I can see what’s on a page of HTML in far less time than it takes to see that a YouTube video isn’t very interesting after all. “Random access” doesn’t work terribly well in video.

          The fast playback option in YouTube improves things a bit; when I do watch I usually do it at 1.5x to 2x speed, which is about as quick as it will go without garbling. HTML is still much faster.

        Exiliado in reply to tom_swift. | March 1, 2019 at 9:18 pm

        I’d start watching TV again rather than voting democrat.

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