‘What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers’
A new video released Thursday by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas reveals that Twitter workers have ways to ban users of its social-media platform without letting them know.
The video shows former Twitter software employee Abhinov Vadrevu, during a conversation at a San Francisco restaurant just days ago, calling it “shadow banning.”
“One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it,” he said.
WND reported earlier this week on a Project Veritas video that revealed Twitter employees are willing to use their access to President Trump’s account to bring down the nation’s commander-in-chief.
Employee Clay Haynes, who has worked at the company since 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile, spoke to an undercover journalist from Project Veritas on Jan. 3. Haynes said the company would be “more than happy to help the DOJ with their little investigation.”
Haynes, a self-declared “bleeding-heart liberal,” also outlined specific ways the company could help take down the president, including providing every single tweet Trump has made, even those that have been deleted, as well as any direct messages.
Direct messages are usually regarded as private.
Haynes openly declared his desire to end the Trump administration.
“He’s dangerous, I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him,” Haynes states in the video.
The second video, above, reveals Twitter workers explaining steps the social media company takes to censor political content its workers don’t like.
Twitter worker Steven Pierre also told of news ways the company will be able to censor users.
“Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing. And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking.”
The video shows also shows Olinda Hassan, a manager for Twitter’s trust and safety team, explaining at a Twitter holiday party that the development of a system of “down ranking” “sh—- people” is in the works.
She said: “Yeah. That’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the sh—- people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on right now.”
Also, a former content review agent, Mo Norai, notes the offhanded censorship that’s become routine.
“If it was a pro-Trump thing and I’m anti-Trump. … I banned his whole account … it’s at your discretion,” he said.
Pranay Singh, another worker, explained the company’s operations.
“Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.”
Wondered O’Keefe: “What kind of world do we live in where computer engineers are the gatekeepers of the ‘way people talk?’ This investigation brings forth information of profound public importance that educates people about how free they really are to express their views online.”
Twitter lists as its mission statement: “Give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.”
Twitter could not be reached immediately for a response. It’s “press” link online led only to a generic “about us” page.
Multiple tech companies have been caught in recent months engaging in activism against conservative and right-wing ideas and individuals.
For example, Google used its market power to discriminate against conservatives.