By Isabel Van Brugen
A Facebook whistleblower has leaked documents that appear to expose the tech giant’s plans to censor content that show COVID-19 “vaccine hesitancy.”
Whistleblower Morgan Kahmann, a former data center technician for Facebook, revealed his identity in an interview on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” after first coming forward to the investigative journalism non-profit Project Veritas with the internal documents.
He says the company’s documents detail a plan to curb “vaccine hesitancy” on a global scale.
Kahmann, who says he has since been suspended by the company for coming forward, told Carlson on Thursday night that content that the company deems to show hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines are flagged by its algorithms and assigned a “score” to determine whether it should be removed.
“Anything that questions the vaccine or the narrative regarding the vaccine, which is, you know, everyone should get the vaccine and the vaccine is good and you’re not going to get many bad side effects, anything outside of that realm is basically considered under ‘vaccine hesitancy’ by Facebook’s algorithms,” Kahmann said.
“They’re afraid of what people might conclude if they see that other people are having negative side effects. They think that this is going to drive up vaccine hesitancy among the population and they see that as something that they have to combat.”
Kahmann said that he decided to come forward because he “wouldn’t be able to live with myself” after seeing the documents that outline what appears to be a censorship campaign by Facebook.
“My moral compass says that is not the right thing to do because basically, the users at Facebook are not aware that this is going on, and if you’re using Facebook or a social platform and they’re censoring the content of your comments unbeknownst to you, I think that’s highly immoral,” he said.
“I believe that any consequences that are bestowed onto me by Facebook as a result of this leak and these documents that I leaked to Project Veritas—I think that all of these consequences don’t really weigh much when it comes to having to live with myself,” Kahmann said. “I saw these documents and I had the opportunity to, you know, show the public this and what’s going on behind the scenes.”
In explaining Facebook’s flagging system in greater detail earlier, the suspended Facebook employee told Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe that comments are given a “Vaccine Hesitancy Score” by an algorithm.
“Facebook uses classifiers in their algorithms to determine certain content … they call it ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ And without the user’s knowledge, they assign a score to these comments that’s called the ‘VH Score,’ the ‘Vaccine Hesitancy Score,’” Kahmann told O’Keefe. “And then, based on that score, will demote or leave the comment alone depending on the content within the comment.”
He said during his interview with Carlson that he was “suddenly” told to stop working, had his company belongings and access badge taken from him, and was taken to his car. He was told that the company would schedule an “investigatory meeting” at some point in the future but said that meeting has since been “canceled.”