Facebook’s “Whistleblower” Is Being Used To Increase Government Censorship & Power

Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In Brief

  • The Facts:
    • While accusing the giant social network of pursuing profits over safety, a former Facebook data scientist told U.S. senators on Tuesday that she believes stricter government oversight could alleviate the dangers the company poses, from harming children to inciting political violence and fuelling misinformation.

    • A former Facebook data scientist is blowing the whistle on the giant social network pursing profits over safety.

    • She is also suggesting stricter government oversight could alleviate the dangers the company poses, from harming children to inciting political violence and fuelling misinformation.

  • Reflect On:
    • Is the reason this story is so big within the mainstream because it justifies giving more power to governments and Big Tech companies to censor information that doesn't fit the 'official' narrative? Is that why it's being pushed so hard?

    • If whistleblowers are usually ignored, censored or even jailed, why has this one from Facebook been publicized?

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In recent news there has been discussion around Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen, an ex data scientist for the Big Tech giant. When testifying to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, she presented several criticisms of Facebook, mainly accusing the company of failing to censor hate speech and misinformation and presented documents to back up her claims.

Whistleblowers come in many shapes and forms, for the most part they spend their entire lives in and out of court, they can be subjected to jail time, and persecution as well. It’s not like Hauge released documents showing that the majority of people killed by drone strikes in Afghanistan were innocent bystanders like Daniel Hale did. Her testimony isn’t a threat to “national security,” a term that’s now used to justify the concealment of information due to the fact that, in many cases, it exposes unethical and immoral actions taken by various corporations and governments.

Her claims that Facebook has not done enough with regards to censorship and hate speech fits right into the hands of a massive political agenda, and internet censorship. Facebook along with many other big tech giants have, for years, been censoring a plethora of information related to several topics, including COVID.

For example, an article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

Whistleblowers don’t usually go public with a PR firm, press email contact, full legal team and a Senate appearance. Morgan Kahmann, the Facebook whistleblower who was suspended after leaking internal documents exposing a “vaccine hesitancy” censorship campaign and how it really works was officially fired by the tech giant. The story didn’t receive any attention at all.

According to Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke the story of, and helped leaked National Security Agency (NSA) documents via whistleblower Edward Snowden detailing their massive global surveillance program,

This “whistleblower” is telling Dems and corporate media everything they want to hear: namely, transferring control of social media to the government for “regulation” and censorship is the only way to solve the problem. FB sees the benefit in this, too.

Twitter

The fact that Facebook experienced a five hour outage that coincided with this whistleblower incident also brought more attention to it. Officially designated “whistleblowers” demanding more censorship get the red carpet treatment, along with a professional PR tour, because their “whistleblowing” doesn’t challenge any orthodoxies but rather provides additional fuel to what establishment factions wanted to do anyway.

She has also just received twitter verification for her newly created Twitter account, something that rarely happens, as well a nice algorithmic promotion boost to go along with the PR tour that seems quite orchestrated.

Greenwald has posted multiple examples from the whistleblowers testimony and responses to it exemplifying his belief that, “the real goal of Democrats and their liberal corporate media allies is not to weaken or break up Facebook and Google.” Instead, the goal is to transfer their vast monopolistics power to themselves like they’ve been doing for years.

For example, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stated the following,

“We need a dedicated regulatory agency to hold Facebook and other Big Tech companies accountable for how their algorithms push misinformation and how our data is used and misused for their profit.”

The push to censor even more content is growing stronger and stronger, US Senator for Massachusetts. Chair of Subcommittees on Clean Air, Climate & Nuclear Safety and on East Asia & the Pacific Ed Markey stated that the issue with Facebook is not that they’re taking too many posts down, but that they’re leaving too many posts up.

It’s funny how the narrative that Facebook is hurting the world by not censorsing enough information is prevalent in the mainstream right now. It makes no sense, the amount of censorship the company has been engaged in over the past few years is truly unprecedented.

The idea that they are allowing misinformation to spread is hard to fathom when they are already actively engaged in censorship while multiple examples of misinformation are constantly dished out by mainstream media outlets and newspapers every single week.

The claim that facebook foster’s body image issues in young girls through glorification of specific images of young and “perfect” people, also claimed by the whistleblower, begs the question, what has Hollywood done and continues to do? What about the cosmetics industry? Why no fuss about that?

It’s hard to believe that another “crises” for Facebook is emerging that justifies even more censorship and the ability to control information.

There is no doubt, at least to me, that Facebook and Google are both grave menaces. Through consolidation, mergers and purchases of any potential competitors, their power far exceeds what is compatible with a healthy democracy. A bipartisan consensus has emerged on the House Antitrust Committee that these two corporate giants — along with Amazon and Apple — are all classic monopolies in violation of long-standing but rarely enforced antitrust laws. Their control over multiple huge platforms that they purchased enables them to punish and even destroy competitors, as we saw when Apple, Google and Amazon united to remove Parler from the internet forty-eight hours after leading Democrats demanded that action, right as Parler became the most-downloaded app in the country, or as Google suppresses Rumble videos in its dominant search feature as punishment for competing with Google’s YouTube platform.

Facebook and Twitter both suppressed reporting on the authentic documents about Joe Biden’s business activities reported by The New York Post just weeks before the 2020 election. These social media giants also united to effectively remove the sitting elected President of the United States from the internet, prompting grave warnings from leaders across the democratic world about how anti-democratic their consolidated censorship power has become.

But none of the swooning over this new Facebook heroine nor any of the other media assaults on Facebook have anything remotely to do with a concern over those genuine dangers. Congress has taken no steps to curb the influence of these Silicon Valley giants because Facebook and Google drown the establishment wings of both parties with enormous amounts of cash and pay well-connected lobbyists who are friends and former colleagues of key lawmakers to use their D.C. influence to block reform. With the exception of a few stalwarts, neither party’s ruling wing really has any objection to this monopolistic power as long as it is exercised to advance their own interests.

Glenn Greenwald. “Democrats and Media Do Not Want to Weaken Facebook, Just Commandeer its Power to Censor.

This kind of perspective should come as no surprise, big tech companies have always had strong connections to the government. Facebook is a great example. For example, Regina Dugan, the former head of the U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held an executive position at Facebook for quite some time.

Many of these companies are hiring people from the CIA, who come from the Pentagon, who come from the NSA, who have top secret clearances. The government is a customer of all the major cloud service providers. They are also a major regulator of these companies, which gives these companies the incentive to do whatever they want.

In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour…

I think the reality here is…it’s not really about freedom of speech, and it’s not really about protecting people from harm…I think what you see is the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try to gain control over this instrument of power…What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority.

Edward Snowden in an interview with Greenwald

It makes me wonder, could all we are seeing with regards to this whistleblower, as well as the recent Facebook outage that coincided with the revelation, be orchestrated?

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