You may not understand how much of a bombshell this new report from the actual journalists at Project Veritas is.
Watch the 10-minute report in its entirety if you have time:
In the video, two Facebook whistleblowers say the platform has created a new algorithm that uses classifiers to label content on a "vaccine hesitancy" scale that shadowbans content and suppresses an entire side of public discussion.
According to the first whistleblower, Facebook tiers users to determine what level of distribution suppression is needed to keep people from seeing negative news about vaccines:
Facebook uses classifiers in their algorithms to determine what they call "vaccine hesitant," or they call it "vaccine hesitancy." And without the user's knowledge, they assign a score to these comments that's called the "VH Score," the "Vaccine Hesitancy Score."
The score determines if a post will be "demoted" or left alone. If the algorithm sees a bunch of keywords related to vaccines, it will flag the post.
Here's an example of the code in action:
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From there, the algorithm tries to place the post in different "tiers" or urgency and kicks posts it can't determine over to a human reviewer.
- Tier 0 is called "Coordinating Harm," where a post advocates for interfering with the administration of a vaccine or discourages groups of people (not individuals specifically) from getting a vaccine.
- Tier 1 is called "Alarmism & Criticism" and flags posts that "disparage" others in their choice to vaccinate, promotes "conspiracies," or claims that the vaccine is "unsafe, ineffective, sacrilegious, or irrelevant."
- Tier 2 is "Indirect Discouragement," where Facebook censors posts that are "shocking" but "possibly true" discussing vaccine side effects and/or deaths, as well as content that "discourages vaccination through promotion of vaccine alternatives or celebration of those who refuse vaccination."
The algorithm is currently being run on 1.5% of Facebook and Instagram's nearly 3.8 billion worldwide users, according to the leaked documents.
The first whistleblower, a Data Technician, said this was all still in beta test, but that it has widespread implications for free speech if Facebook begins using the algorithm on a global scale.
He also listed specific internal messages, slideshows, and the names of the Facebook leaders behind the project (all of which can be found in the Project Veritas report), noting they all work in the "Health Integrity" department, which totally doesn't sound Orwellian!
Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe noted that Facebook is reporting facts, but not allowing discussion of the truth behind them.
"No, because it doesn't match the narrative," said the whistleblower. "So, and the narrative being: 'Get the vaccine, the vaccine is good for you. Everyone should get it. And if you don't, you will be singled out as an enemy of society.'"
The Facebook insider said the most dangerous part of all this is how Facebook plans to roll this out for other topics.
"They're trying to control this content before it even makes it onto your page before you even see it. The policy is going to keep expanding until anything can violate it.
What would happen if this was scaled larger and scaled to Twitter and then the internet as a whole is way worse than anything that could happen from me getting fired from my job."
Fortunately, the whistleblower said he estimates at least 25% of employees at Facebook are also concerned about this stuff.
The second whistleblower felt even more strongly. He compared the new algorithm to an abusive relationship where one partner refuses to let the other speak. He noted that Facebook employees can have conversations in the office about their health and vaccines, but that the same conversation is banned online.
Project Veritas tried contacting Facebook and they claimed this was public knowledge, but no such public content has been found.
What do you think? How do you feel about our tech overlords limiting what and how we can talk about serious issues that directly affect our health and lives?