A revealing report from MintPress News detailed just how deeply in bed Facebook is with the likes of former spooks, as the company has hired dozens of ex-CIA and FBI agents to handle the platform’s content moderation. In short, that means former CIA agents are deciding what to censor, and whom.
There’s a bit of a joke when it comes to former spooks where one will say, “There’s no such thing as ex-CIA,” which is an allusion to someone never truly leaving the spy game after their time in the agency. And while the adage might conjure a few chuckles, there’s hardly anything funny about former spooks being involved in content moderation on the largest social media platform.
On Meta’s website (the recently fomented parent company that runs Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Oculus), there’s a page dedicated to supporting “updated regulations” regarding Section 230.
On said page, users will be able to interact with a number of videos featuring Facebook employees whose jobs revolve around content moderation.
An individual featured in one of these videos is Aaron, who says while being interviewed that it’s not an easy undertaking to draw a distinction between “harmful content and protecting freedom of speech. It’s a balance,” all while a pleasant piano melody akin to what one might hear in an erectile dysfunction medicine commercial is playing along.
By all means, Aaron looks just like a regular fella, holding up pictures of his family while explaining his role as a “product policy manager,” with the camera at time zooming in to emphasize his wedding band – almost as if the highly-produced video is trying to convey a sense that Aaron is someone you can trust.
Welp, it turns out Aaron spent over 17 years at the CIA before joining Facebook in 2019.
MintPress News contributor Alan MacLeod took to Twitter on July 12th, showcasing a number of now-Facebook employees’ LinkedIn profiles who are part of the social media platform’s misinformation, trust and safety, and project manager roles.
“Studying various employment websites, it’s clear FB is actively recruiting directly from the CIA to fill some of its most politically sensitive positions regarding content moderation, allowing them to wield considerable influence over the biggest media/news platform in history.”
Among those featured screenshots shared by MacLeod was none other than Aaron Berman, the man featured in the Facebook video.
According to Berman’s personal LinkedIn profile, he worked at the CIA between March of 2002 to July of 2019 as a senior analytic manager, where in his own words provided intel reports utilized by “the President and senior US officials to make decisions on the most critical national security issues.” Perhaps the most interesting part of Berman’s description of his work at the CIA was that he, “Focused on the impact of influence operations on social movements.”
And as one can clearly see from Berman’s LinkedIn profile, he isn’t just some run of the mill “product policy manager” as stated in the Facebook-produced video – he’s the senior product policy manager for misinformation.
But Berman is merely one of dozens of former state actors who’ve been recruited from various alphabet agencies like the CIA, FBI, and DoD, with MacLeod noting in his report that these individuals are placed “primarily in highly politically sensitive sectors such as trust, security and content moderation, to the point where some might feel it becomes difficult to see where the U.S. national security state ends and Facebook begins.”
And this conundrum of former spooks taking up the ranks of Facebook, which is one of the largest platforms where people get their news and general information from, creates a “best of both worlds for Washington” via the “veneer of plausible deniability,” according to MacLeod.
Basically, these former agents were groomed by the Washington agenda by rising “through the ranks of the national security state” before landing in Facebook, and it would be foolish to think these folks don’t have a direct line of contact from within the agencies they came from.
These individuals who control the content on Facebook are undoubtedly still rubbing elbows with their former colleagues at the alphabet agencies, with these former colleagues likely filling their ears with what should and shouldn’t be allowed on the social media platform.