Documents supplied by the former employee show Facebook’s intention to silence right-leaning content via labeling it “hate speech” and throttling down its circulation. Internal communications reveal that the company’s program controllers and department heads essentially consider any account or content that contradicts the left politically.
This information comes less than a year after Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg testified before the U.S. Senate, where he swore that the platform did not have a political bias against anyone.
Back-end screen shots of well-known conservative journalists and commentators showed a code attached that was found only on right-leaning pages. The code labeled ActionDeboostLiveDistribution is a command that prevents or slows down distribution of content from these accounts. The screen shots included the accounts of Mike Cernovich, Steven Crowder, and the Daily Caller’s page.
The insider had spoken with a current Facebook employee who, off the record, verified that the code was used to limit a video’s visibility and disable sharing and interaction keys.
During an interview with the former Facebook employee, Project Veritas founder, James O’Keefe asked if she had checked to see if leftist pages had this throttling code attached as well.
“I looked at The Young Turks page, I looked at Colin Kapernick’s page, and none of them had received the same ‘deboost’ comment on their account,” she responded.
The author of the deboost code is a Facebook engineer by the name of Danny Ben David. When Mr. David is approached on video by O’Keefe about it, he seems dumbfounded and keeps repeating “You’re James O’Keefe?”
Included in the Facebook documents was communication from the company’s data science manager Seiji Yamamoto. Among his high-profile duties, Yamamoto is responsible for “informed sharing ranking demotion” and “news feed reduction strategy”. His prime goal is to go after what the company terms “hate speech”.
A review of his communications with employees shows that his definition of “hate” is anything on the right which he seems to associate racism and white supremacy. Simultaneously he ignores the obvious hate-filled pages of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and By Any Means Necessary(BAMN), all of whom endorse violence against those who disagree with their ideology.
Facebook’s Yamamoto has created tactics to silence those he considers “trolls”. Some of these ideas are in place and may be recognized by many. One such tactic involves users accounts having their internet bandwidth limited. Another involves the user auto-logged out for no reason and having comments fail to upload. These “special features”, according the tech engineer would be triggered more often during important elections.
The insider alleges that the platform’s troll-identification scheme is a problem because “there is no accountability”. She goes on to explain that all of this happens without the user knowing it.
In addition to the damning evidence from his own internal communications, Seiji Yamamoto’s public behavior also provided viewers incite to his actions. During the Project Veritas video, the Facebook engineer is approached by O’Keefe and asked about the internal communications. Yamamoto’s immediate response was to take the social justice warrior stance and immediately say that he felt “unsafe”, accusing O’Keefe of stalking him. When pressed by the journalist, he fled the scene on his bicycle.
Behind the walls of Facebook, he is not so afraid to push users around, however. In fact, another tactic that he listed in the interest of slowing conservatives was to shame users by informing people in their friends list when they have been banned for violating “community standards”.
The Project Veritas video and story that exposed this with the former insider are only verifications of what has largely been known for quite some time. This is not the first time an insider exposed the company’s internal disdain for Conservatives.
In May of 2016 Facebook insiders came out to Gizmodo to expose how the company was manually editing the “Trending” news feed to create the impression that the left was more popular that it really was.
For more than 4 years it has been known that Facebook removes right-of-center content and suspends or bans those who often provide it. While, every now and then a high-profile person makes headlines for being banned, the truth is, hundreds of thousands of conservative thinkers have experienced the platforms “tactics” as outlined by Yamamoto.
As a result, several platforms similar to Facebook have started to spring up that aim to provide an open platform for those who believe in free speech. One such platform is Hub.life where the owner has painstakingly ensured that the usability matches Facebook almost entirely.
According to the site’s manager, Jake Fogg, membership has been on a steady incline since its appearance a year ago. “People are tired of being held back from expressing their views. They see other people calling for the death of the president, viciously attacking right-wing supporters for wearing a hat, and demanding it to be okay for a fully developed new born baby to be killed in the name of women’s health and Facebook is perfectly fine with that”, said Fogg.
“But people who believe in God, express their desire to maintain liberty, believe in smaller government, or consider human life important are considered to be spreading ‘hate’?” Fogg continued. “Facebook literally is where the real hate is being wielded against those who disagree with the left. I am hoping that more and more will see our freedom of speech and join. The only thing that makes Facebook so big is its participation.
Fogg may have a point as Facebook has seen no growth on users over the last two years and, with more alternatives coming available, it will likely see a decline by those who feel disenfranchised by the social media giant that has come to decide that people who believe in freedom engaging in "hate" speech.