Internal documents leaked to Project Veritas by two Facebook employees expose an algorithm that identifies and demotes comments promoting vaccine hesitancy.
The Facebook algorithm uses classifiers and keywords to assign a vaccine hesitancy or “VH” score to a given comment, explains Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe. Facebook will target and demote any comment they consider “alarmist” and/or “critical” about COVID and the vaccine – even if it is true – or any comment that indirectly discourages vaccination.
As the leaked documents state, the program’s goal is to “drastically reduce user exposure to vaccine hesitancy (VH) in comments.”
What this means is that they are removing information before you can even see it and decide for yourself.
“It’s kind of like having a relationship with somebody that’s controlling and abusive, in a sense, like an abusive partner not allowing their spouse to speak out about the things that are going on in their marriage or their relationship and limiting their voice,” said one whistleblower to O’Keefe.
The underlying narrative here is that you should get the vaccine because it is good for you. And if you refuse, they will single you out as a pariah and an enemy of society, he added.
The vaccine hesitancy algorithm is currently being tested on 1.5% of Facebook and Instagram’s nearly 3.8 billion users. But there’s no telling how far it will go.
“The policy is going to keep expanding until anything can violate it…What would happen if this was scaled larger and scaled to Twitter and the Internet as a whole is way worse than anything that could happen from me getting fired from my job,” said the whistleblower. “They want to build a community where everyone complies, not where people can have open discourse and dialogue about the most personal and private and intimate decisions that anyone could ever face in their life.”
At least 25% of the staff at Facebook view the Vaccine Hesitancy algorithm as morally wrong, he added.
When asked why he decided to speak up about the algorithm, the whistleblower explained that he did so in the interest of his children’s future. “When it comes time to standing up for a world I want my children to live in, I don’t want to leave them a world to where they don’t have these liberties, these personal securities, to where they can willingly make their own medical decisions between them, their doctors, and those that are closest to them. That’s not something I can live in. That’s not something I can do.”
In a response to the Project Veritas report, Facebook claimed to have announced its Vaccine Hesitancy algorithm on its company blog. It also claims to have updated its help center with this information. This does not appear to be true.