On Thursday, Project Veritas released a bombshell video in which a third-party contractor who worked with Facebook, Ryan Hartwig, claims he faced discrimination because he is a straight, white male. Shortly after the video dropped, Facebook fired senior HR business partner Leslie Brown, who said lawyers would “laugh” if a white man came to sue the company after getting fired. The video also shows a Facebook moderator listing Make America Great Again (MAGA) with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis as a symbol of “hate.” Yet another moderator claims that she would take an Iranian’s $80 million bounty to get rid of President Donald Trump.
Facebook has not responded to PJ Media’s multiple requests for comment.
“One of my projects before now was, was hate. So I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at pictures of hate organizations, Hitler, Nazis, MAGA, you know, Proud Boys, all that stuff all day long,” the moderator says.
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe asks Hartwig, “Does it surprise you that he combines Hitler, Nazis, and MAGA? He’s describing hate organizations he’s moderating for Facebook, he kind of throws MAGA in there. What is your reaction to that?”
“So yeah, he groups together hate organizations, Hitler, Nazis, MAGA,” Hartwig says.. Then he adds, “that’s kind of how moderators are conditioned to think.” He insists that “anything that’s right-wing” could be on a “hate list” with terrorists, but there are “no left-leaning individuals on that list.”
Hartwig was employed by Cognizant, a third-party company that contracts with Facebook on content moderation. In his time working with Facebook, Hartwig witnessed another moderator saying she would accept the bounty that an Iranian eulogist put on President Trump’s head following the assassination of Iranian terrorist leader Quasem Suleimani.
“It’s inhumane, but if it’s gonna save the country, why not do it?” the moderator says.
In another part of the video, a content moderator says, “If I were to go in there with a MAGA shirt or a MAGA hat, I’d get my ass beat.”
Hartwig also claimed that Facebook allows anti-white bias, and even “hate speech,” if it is intended to raise awareness for LGBT issues.
He shared a document purportedly from Facebook in the summer of 2018, advising moderators to allow “Anything that is a DELETE per our Hate Speech policies, but is intended to raise awareness for Pride/LGBTQ.” An example suggested that “It’s okay to call straight white males ‘filth’ in the context of not supporting the LGBTQ” agenda, Hartwig explained. “It allows attacks on one single group of people, straight white males, for not supporting LGBT rights.”
Yet the most impactful segment of the video shows a Facebook HR business partner, Leslie Brown, discussing bias against white males with an undercover journalist from Project Veritas.
Journalist: I mean, they were able to fire him without having to worry about discrimination.
Brown: Due diligence, right. Because he’s a white man. Yeah, white man. No problem. You can’t do it that easily if there are other issues.
Journalist: Oh, it’s easier when they’re-
Brown: White men.
Journalist: Yeah, no protected class.
Brown: No one has the white man’s back anymore.
Brown went on to say, “if he chose to sue the company, most attorneys would just laugh.”
In a text message to James O’Keefe, Brown said she had been fired.
In a call with congressional staffers on Thursday afternoon, Facebook spokeswoman Heather King insisted that the kind of political censorship Facebook moderators discussed in the Project Veritas video was not consistent with the company’s policies.
“With regards to a question related to Project Veritas report, first off is that our reviewers work hard to keep our tack on space for end-users every day,” King said. “We will be reviewing our training and oversight to make sure that we think about policy and we’re watching our partners to make sure that they’re appropriately and properly following our policies.”
“Reviewers’ decisions are regularly evaluated, ensure our policies are applied fairly and accurately, not promote any political viewpoint of any stripe and the comments included in this video are not consistent with our policies,” she insisted.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.