The Spies Who Curate What You See On Social Media

On this week’s “Unauthorized Disclosure” episode, Rania Khalek and Kevin Gosztola are joined by journalist and MintPress News senior staff writer Alan MacLeod. Alan has spent the past few months digging through LinkedIn profiles to expose the revolving door between United States security agencies (CIA, FBI, etc) and social media companies.

In particular, his reporting calls attention to the sheer number of people from the CIA who are at Facebook, including one notable former agent who is developing content moderation policies for the corporation.

Facebook, as Alan points out, is “the most important news source around the world. Around 3 billion use Facebook every month for news, which means that something like forty percent of the world’s population is dependent on their news feeds. And that gives Facebook an enormous amount of leverage and influence.”

We also asked Alan to break down his coverage of the so-called fact checking organizations that Facebook relies upon, particularly to moderate content related to the war in Ukraine, and how most of them receive direct funding from the US government.

0:00 Introduction
2:00 US Government Funding ‘Fact-Checking’ Organizations
11:00 Nina Jankowicz and Stop Fake
16:50 Algorithmic Suppression—Why Does It Matter?
22:00 Facebook’s Aaron Berman, Former CIA Senior Officer
30:30 Does the CIA Stand In The Way Of Breaking Up Social Media Monopolies?
34:10 “Allyship”
43:00 Journalists Who Play The Role Of Social Media Cops

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