NEW YORK, NY- In an opinion piece written by Sohrab Ahmari, the op-ed editor at the New York Post, he reported that according to a former Facebook insider, the writer was told that there was at least half a dozen “Chinese nationals who are working on censorship,” he was told last week. “So, at some point, they [Facebook bosses] thought, ‘Hey, we’re going to get them H-1B visas so they can do this work.”
It has been made pretty clear that China prefers a President Biden over a President Trump. If nothing else, the information released over the past two weeks about Biden’s cozy relationship with Chinese interests would seem to be an indication of that.
What is also clear is that Facebook prefers Biden over the president as well. Aside from the fact that the social media giant is run by a bunch of left-wing idealists, we also might now have another glimpse of why Facebook throttles pro-Trump messages while pushing Biden ones. Look no further than the “censorship squad” in order to see why.
The insider shared an internal directory of the censorship team. The team actually has a “1984”-ish name—Hate-Speech Engineering. Most of the members of the team work out of the social media giant’s offices in Seattle.
Many of them possess Ph.D.’s, and the insider says their work is “extremely complex, which involves machine learning—in other words, teaching “computers how to learn and act without being explicitly programmed,” according to a tech website called DeepAI.org.
Censorship on social media, Ahmari said, involves “teaching” Facebook code, in order to push certain content to the top of the user’s newsfeed. This in turn rewards Facebook’s software people “discretionary bonuses,” the ex-insider said. While preferred content is moved to the top, other less favored content “shows up dead-last.”
As an example, the Ahmari cited the New York Post report on Biden family dealings with Chinese companies. You see, they WANT Biden to win, so they push anything negative to the bottom of the food chain, so to speak.
In explaining how the process works, a typical Facebook user was described:
“They take what Sohrab sees, and then they throw the newsfeed list into a machine-learning algorithm and neural networks that determine the ranking of the items.”
Engineers at the company assess a number of different versions of the rankings in order to reach the desired outcome—and to eliminate what bosses at the company call “borderline content.”
It is, the ex-insider said, one of the most sophisticated censorship mechanisms in human history.
“What they don’t do is ban a specific pro-Trump hashtag,” said the source. Rather, “content that is a little too conservative they will down-rank. You can’t tell it’s censored.”
The ex-insider said that they didn’t want to reveal the name of the Facebook censors. Rather, they were attempting to show how foreign nationals, in this case from a country that bans Facebook, have the power to implement censorship in a supposedly free republic such as the United States.
While they would not identify people by name, some were identified based on their profiles.
For example, one of them is a research scientist based in Seattle who earned a master’s degree in computer engineering from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, his LinkedIn profile says.
Yet another member of the censorship team, is a software engineer for machine learning, also based in Seattle. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from Jillin University in northeast China.
Another, an engineering manager, earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science at Nanjing University in eastern China.
And, the best one of the bunch…a software engineer who previously worked for Communist-backed conglomerate Huawei, and at the Beijing National Railway & Design Institute of Signal and Communication.
Ahmari said he reached out to all six, with two confirming they were Chinese nationals, however refused further comment; the others did not reply.
The recruitment of Chinese specialists from countries such as China, India and other places is certainly nothing unusual, with many such workers eventually settling in the US.
However, that is not always the case. In the case of China, a Communist country that has solid control over its citizens, who is to say that those Chinese engineers don’t provide that expertise to the Chinese Communist Party if they return home?
When reached out to for comment, a spokesperson for Facebook denied that the Chinese “hate-speech police” influence broader policies in the company.
“We are a stronger company because our employees come from all over the world. Our standards and policies are public, including about our third-party fact-checking program, and designed to apply equally to content across the political spectrum (well that’s a crock if we ever heard it.). With over 35,000 people working on safety and security issues at Facebook, the insinuation that these employees have an outsized influence on our broader policies or technology is absurd.”
However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reached out to Ahmari in an email, noting that the revelations about the “hate-speech” squad were “another indication that Big Tech is no longer deserving” of statutory protections that make it immune to a publisher’s liabilities, the so-called Section 230 exemption in the FCC regulations.
Yet another senator, Josh Hawley (R-MO), one of the bigger critics of not only Facebook, but Twitter, Google, and others, said “this is all the more reason for the senate to demand that Mark Zuckerberg—under oath and before the election—give an account on what Facebook has been up to.”
In an earlier opinion piece of the multi-piece series, Ahmari noted that former Facebook insiders had railed against the company’s one-sided politics.
“Facebook is almost an arm of the Democratic Party—an arm of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party,” said one former insider.
The former insider seemed spooked to Ahmari as he spoke to him in a Midtown Manhattan restaurant, continually looking over his shoulder as if looking for someone who might recognized him.
He felt, however that he had speak out, noting that Facebook employees were “intentionally trying to swing people further to the left,” as the former insider told Ahmari in an email which requested the meeting.
At around the same time as the meeting, Facebook’s communications manager, Andy Stone had announced that the company was reducing circulation of the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Stone formerly worked for Democratic lawmakers prior to joining Facebook.
Ahmari said the source told him that there is a social network for the tech industry called Blind, where people who work at major firms such as Facebook and other tech companies can chat anonymously. While one needs to sign up using a corporate email account to verify employment, users remain anonymous.
The source told Ahmari that some Facebook insiders were not happy with the company’s decision to throttle the Hunter Biden story.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
“[Facebook] employees want Trump to lose,” one user said. “If that means rigging [the platform] against him, they don’t care.” That post received 29 “likes” from other employees, the source said.
“I was shocked that Facebook did this,” said yet another. “We kinda called [brought] this on ourselves. So much for ‘we are not the arbiters of truth.’” That comment got 15 “likes.”
Others said, “Facebook bets that Biden wins the election. So, an effort to jump on the bandwagon.” “Yeah this one is unconscionable. I’m ashamed.” “Imagine if we censored some leaked Trump stuff. It would be the #1 upvoted question tomorrow for Mark [Zuckerberg company-wide]’s Q&A.”
In a much more detailed critique, yet another employee wrote:
“Why do people hate Facebook everywhere? Here’s one reason. Freaking one-sided decision. The comms Twitter account [Andy Stone’s] was definitely left-leaning, and it’s a talking point, as well. No proper response to comms feedback. Don’t want to be the what-if person. But we didn’t have problems circulating leaked Trump tax or any other shit surrounding Trump or COVID.”
“If Trump loses his supporters won’t totally blame the obvious censorship that is happening right now,” wrote one employee.
“If Biden wins, all those questions will go away? Hell no. In fact, he is better of losing, if he doesn’t want more scrutiny into his son’s ill-gotten gains.”
Yet another employee said, “We’re now begging to be regulated.”
Ahmari said he reached out to Facebook for comment, but he was not contacted back.
The former insider told Ahmari that he didn’t believe those inside the company who are concerned about the leftward lean of the company will make a difference.
“The whole thing is run by super-woke millennials and gen-Xers. This overwhelming majority of people make sure there’s no chance of breaking through the ideological barrier.”
He continued, “If you’re left-wing, you can say what you want. But if you’re conservative—or even just apolitical—you have to go on this anonymous app” in order to speak your mind.
Looks like it’s time for Congress to reel in these companies. Of course, money talks. We’ll see who has the interests of fairness first and foremost on their agenda.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!