Facebook executive Benny Thomas was caught by guerrilla journalism outlet Project Veritas explaining how Facebook’s algorithms can be weaponized against conservatives.
Thomas, the Global Planning Lead at Facebook, confirmed the right’s worst fears in a devastating exposé released by Project Veritas: the algorithms used by Big Tech platforms are biased and can be weaponized against conservatives. “[T]here’s always built-in bias,” Thomas explained, “because this is the myth that computer programmers told us, which is: ‘Oh, these are computers, computers don’t have bias.’ But guess what? Human beings wrote that code. And a human being has bias.”
In a no less sinister admission, Thomas explained that the solution to the “crisis” of Facebook users “believing whatever they see” is an Orwellian one: “[T]he answer is just more controls, more safeguards. The answer is the same answer of why do cars not crash on the street? Because there’s traffic lights.” Thomas elaborated that rules are needed to “give people a guide to behavior.” He explained in an altogether different hidden camera interview that internet users need to be carefully monitored to make sure they are behaving properly: “That’s called democracy. Somebody is always watching you, so that you behave well.”
Thomas specified that algorithmic bias can become dire “when you weaponize it as a politician.” He hedged by stating, “as Facebook says, the algorithm was not meant for that,” but admitted that it could still be used in that way. Thomas elaborated that proxies could be used by a “racist politician” to determine if a prospective voter is “racist” by analyzing qualifications such as “Lives in an all white town, education, religious preference. So, you can triangulate three or four data points and say, ‘She’s likely to be racist.’ And then you can target her.”
Thomas explained that while someone using Facebook’s algorithms might not be able to target people individually, he or she could control what entire categories of people can see through Facebook’s programs: “I don’t actually know the names, but I am able, and like I said, I can target racist people using just those three things. It’s that easy.”
Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe observed: “It all sounds very Orwellian. Thomas wants more people watching you so you better behave. But at the same time, he openly admits that Facebook’s technology can be weaponized against its own users.”
Project Veritas’s blog also claimed: “Thomas admitted he was part of a Facebook project that pushed to register voters and said he believes Joe Biden benefited from it.”
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