Project Veritas released its second New York Times video Wednesday, featuring now-familiar audience strategy editor Nicholas Dudich.
In Part II, Dudich literally describes himself as “a gatekeeper” who decides what gets published and what doesn’t, and how he influences the news by manipulating social media:
As an editor, I’m a gatekeeper so I can choose what goes out and what doesn’t go out. And let’s say we wrote something about Facebook negatively. … We actually just did a video about Facebook negatively, and I chose to put it in a spot that I knew wouldn’t do well.
Dudich also admitted that he has friends in Silicon Valley who help his videos trend on YouTube — an advantage he hides from his bosses at the New York Times so he can get all the credit.
Let’s say something ends up on the YouTube front page. New York Times freaks out about it, but they don’t know it’s just because my friends curate the front page. So, it’s like, a little bit of mystery you need in any type of job to make it look like what you do is harder than what it is.
Dudich’s pal Earnest Pettie, the brand and diversity curation lead at YouTube, helps make his New York Times videos trend.
There are things that exist in the product that, like, are definitely optimized for news. Now, like last night if you searched for Hugh Hefner, there’s the search results but then there’s also. … A carousel comes up with a page that’s just news videos. There’s this need, people are searching for a topic that is, that our systems know is a “newsy” topic, so let’s give them videos that we know to be newsy because we know we have these news partnerships.
Pettie also explained how YouTube is able to push what he called “legitimate news” to the top:
Realistically, that’s what the … that’s what that news carousel kind of does. So like, it’s above the search results so, at the very least, we can say that like this shelf of videos from news partners is legitimate news because we know that these are legitimate news organizations. And if at that point, somebody decides they’re going to scroll past that and go find Alex Jones, well, they were looking for him to begin with anyway.
Pettie said that without human input providing a “check” on content, “you end up with horrible things. Hugely embarrassing things.”
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) October 11, 2017
Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe asked:
Which organizations have YouTube bestowed with the title of “legitimate”? If YouTube is going to get in the news business, they’re going to have to answer for the sins of their news partners.
O’Keefe also pointed out that these findings contradict YouTube’s mission statement:
People — not gatekeepers — decide what’s popular.
Note, NYT did not say, 'selective editing,' no name-calling. They simply released a statement saying their reporter broke ethics rules. pic.twitter.com/OGJCJlKgnn
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 10, 2017
O’Keefe released his own statement in response to the Times‘ response:
We are pleased the New York Times is taking our investigation seriously. We look forward to the public release of their internal review.