1/ As I’ve long said, Facebook’s business decisions to prioritize some actors’ speech over others’ should concern us all. Lots of detail from internal sources in @JeffHorwitz piece. This was part of what I tried to address when I worked there (a thread). wsj.com/articles/faceb…
2/ Despite both internal + external pressure to stop granting special treatment to political figures or other money-making "influencers", and despite knowing XCheck was highly problematic, FB continued to grow the program. FB's fingers on the scale of whose "speech" we see/hear.
3/ Exempting politicians from the rules is dangerous to open democratic debate. It's well documented, including in @sheeraf & @ceciliakang's "The Ugly Truth", that I was pushed out of FB for questioning why we didn't hold political advertisers to the same fact-checking rules...
4/ I'm not the only one who felt this double standard was both dangerous and antithetical to the core of what Facebook professes to be. This excerpt makes that clear. I also wrote about what my team tried to do with existing FB tools, but were denied, here:washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/1…
5/ Even the person heading Facebook's elections integrity efforts on the civic integrity team (including while I was there) seems to agree, according to a comment he posted:
6/The piece also shows how FB misled the so-called "Oversight Board". Re: @Klonick's important question below: From its creation, I & others warned that despite reputable members, we shouldn't grant it the legitimacy of a true oversight mechanism as it was created & funded by FB.
7/ In summary: This piece adds to a growing body of work w/ internal receipts about FB's most egregious political decisions. So while I & others are sometimes portrayed as "disgruntled", I won't stop speaking out about the things I saw there that I feel are harmful to democracy.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Yael Eisenstat

Yael Eisenstat Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @YaelEisenstat

14 Jul
1/ As one of the subjects in this book, I want to offer a few thoughts on the content, Facebook's response, my own personal story (yes, that part is somewhat self-indulgent), and the authors @sheeraf and @ceciliakang. A thread:
2/ On the book: by now it’s hard to dispute Facebook’s role in affecting discourse & democracy. But the authors spoke to more employees than any other account and show the receipts. The pattern of negligence, deflecting responsibility, choosing “company over country” is stark.
3/ On Facebook’s response: Shame on them. Honestly, that’s all I can say. If being angry that Facebook leaders put their business over democracy makes me disgruntled, then fine, call me that. But what about the 400 others interviewed? How about an ounce of self-reflection?
Read 14 tweets
3 Jun
1/ A few years too late, but important nonetheless. Maybe those things I wanted to do when Facebook hired me to lead elections integrity Ops for ads—hold politicians to the same standard as everyone else—will finally happen. As a reminder, I wrote about this after I left (thread)
2/ When I tried to ask if we could impose the same rigor of fact checking to political ads, I was shut down and cut out of all senior level meetings. Wrote about that here: washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/1…
3/ When my team proposed an entire plan for how to ensure political advertisers could not lie about voting issues, I was shut down. Wrote about that here: brookings.edu/techstream/how…
Read 5 tweets
11 Mar
This piece by @_KarenHao is a must read if you care about how Facebook effects democracy, and why the company has (intentionally) not tackled the core problems. I was hired just after the Cambridge Analytica scandal to help "fix it". A few observations 1/ technologyreview.com/2021/03/11/102…
When I was at Facebook, I couldn't understand why none of the things I tried to ask/do/explore--combating disinfo in political ads, building voter suppression plan--and was specifically hired to do were rejected or ignored. This paragraph confirms what I've been saying since. 2/
Those of us (and there are many) who argue that Facebook's engagement obsession fuels division and, as my TED talk claims, is helping radicalize people at a speed not seen before, have often been discounted or painted as misguided. Looks like Facebook knew this as well. 👇🏽3/
Read 9 tweets
22 Feb
Important piece by @CraigSilverman & @RMac18. Facebook’s decisions on far-right content are political, not some grand defense of free speech or democracy. I’ve tried to point this out in pieces about my time working on election integrity at FB. (Thread)
Facebook hired me in 2018 to head a new elections integrity team for ads. I put protecting democracy first, not political preservation. Sharing below pieces not to pat myself on the back, but to show how efforts failed because, as Buzzfeed shows, there was no political will. 2/
In my 1st piece after leaving Facebook, I intentionally wrote about asking my team to prove if we had an anti-conservative bias (we didn’t) as a subtle way of pointing to that issue. I was testing the waters but was much more explicit in future pieces. 3/ wired.com/story/the-real…
Read 11 tweets
6 Aug 20
So much to unpack here, (a thread): 1/ Facebook is being used by our current President to undermine trust in the electoral process, and they continue to allow it to happen, unchecked. And their own employees are speaking up about the real dangers to our democracy. Bravo to them.
2/ Election results could take weeks, so we are in for a very dangerous period after Nov 3. How will FB react if Trump+his allies claim the results are rigged or lie about the results? If they refuse to fact check him now, why should we believe they will react differently then?
3/ "a senior engineer collected internal evidence that showed FB was giving preferential treatment to prominent conservative accounts to help them remove fact-checks... (FB) responded by removing his post... the engineer was fired." If true, this is extremely disturbing.
Read 5 tweets
25 Sep 19
A few thoughts on the #WhistleblowerComplaint, from my former #CIA and #NationalSecurity lens, and having served three Presidents, both Democrat and Republican, (without any comment on this #POTUS, the actual allegations against him, or moves on #impeachment) :
1/Being a #Whistleblower in the Intel Community is never easy, & it almost certainly will affect your future. But we swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”, & all Americans should be thankful to those who uphold that oath.
2/Deciding that threat comes from within and merits possibly destroying your own career and personal life to fulfill your oath to the #Constitution has to be the most difficult predicament an Intel Officer will ever face. The #whistleblower never personally wins.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!