News & Politics

Hidden Cameras Show Facebook Contractors Bragging About Removing Pro-Trump Content From Platform

James O’Keefe has an insider at Facebook, Zach McElroy, who says he’s prepared to testify that Cognizant contractors employed by Facebook are actively trying to sway the 2020 election through deletion of pro-Trump sentiment all over the platform. McElroy wrote an oped on Medium in advance of the video release.

Training for the job lasted about a month and covered their entire internal policy in detail. I came into this job as a conservative, and immediately I took notice of highly objectionable biases in Facebook’s guidelines, from ideologically-based policies and definitions to allowing things to be posted that could get people killed. But what was I going to do about it? Leak documents on 4chan? Go to the media? No one cares. I was just some nobody in a sea of nobodies. Indeed, Facebook famously seems to want to ignore their content moderators’ existence, which is most likely the reason this work is subcontracted in the first place — “it’s not their problem”. Their response to criticism of this has even been so astonishingly tone-deaf as to put signs around their campus which read “Contractors Are People Too”, as reported by Bloomberg in May 2019.

Hidden cameras show Facebook contractors bragging about deleting MAGA accounts or pro-Trump sentiment because of political bias. “It’s a very progressive company who’s very anti-MAGA,” says Steve Grimmett, team lead for content review, on hidden camera.

“I think they’re very biased with who they protect,” adds Daniel Will, content moderator. “Facebook shadowbans and they say they don’t but it’s clear that people’s content don’t come up because it’s been de-filtered off the queue. They’re doing something but trying to pretend like they’re not,” he said in what he thought was a private conversation.

“To me censorship online is one of the biggest issues facing us in the lead up to the 2020 election,” said whistleblower McElroy. The video follows McElroy around Facebook as he asks employees on content moderation teams about the bias. He asks Robert Miller, “You know that civic harassment queue that we’ve been in lately? Is it just me or is it all Republicans in there?” Miller replies, “Yeah, it’s all Republicans. But a lot of it comes of Trump’s page specifically.”

Other hidden video shows other social media content moderators admitting to deleting anything pro-Trump. “If a Trump post was to come up and it was promoting Trump, then I can take that down,” said Lara Kontakos. “Then I feel that would be really impactful.” In a later clip, Kontakos was heard saying she deletes “all Republicans.” “If someone is wearing a MAGA hat I am going to delete them for terrorism.”

McElroy also showed an internal memo allowing a drawing of Donald Trump being beheaded to stay on the platform while a cartoon of Elmer Fudd shooting Beto O’Rourke was deemed incitement to violence.

At the time of publishing, Facebook has not responded to McElroy’s allegations.

Watch below:

McElroy has started a GoFundMe for himself in the aftermath of this story to help with the difficulty he will surely face in legal battles after breaking the nondisclosure agreement he had to sign at Facebook.