Project Veritas continued its series of stunning revelations regarding Twitter earlier today. Veritas, under the leadership of investigative journalist James O’Keefe, previously revealed that Twitter is pressured by numerous governments to delete celebrity accounts, and raised the possibility that Julian Assange’s Twitter account had been removed temporarily by the company.
The latest videos shows a former Twitter engineer discussing the vast quantities of information the company gathers on users before by the time they first create an account. Another clip reveals that Twitter employees are paid to read users private messages.
"We have information from people… if you go to Twitter for the first time, we have information about you." "We already have a lot of information about you" pic.twitter.com/BBVDSYFFqu
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 15, 2018
The engineer states while filmed by a covertly placed camera: “We actually bought a company for this… an ad network… when you see that ad, we get the information…” When the Project Veritas asked the Engineer how individuals could be protected from such invasive surveillance, the engineer responded: “You don’t, there is no way.”
Even more shocking was the revelation that Twitter employees not only have the ability to view private messages, but that hundreds of Twitter staff are paid to do so. A senior network engineer for Twitter captured in the Project Veritas footage stated: “We can actually read your DM’s.” Another employee recounted that between 300-400 employees with the company are paid to read private communications, saying “they are paid to look at d*** pics.”
The latest scandal is not the first time Twitter has faced controversy. Late last year Disobedient Media reported that Twitter admitted they hid 48 percent of tweets using the #DNCLeak hashtag and 25 percent of tweets using #PodestaEmails in the lead up to the 2016 Presidential election. The admission was made by Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett, in his written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last October.
Recent press reports additionally indicate that Jack Dorsey, the controversial CEO of Twitter, has chosen to step down from Walt Disney Company’s board of Directors along with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Regardless of one’s political affiliation, the footage released earlier today is extremely impactful to all of those who use Twitter’s platform. It is yet another black mark on the company’s reputation and reveals the extent to which it is not only intelligence agencies but often corporate interests that surveil the population’s online activity, for purposes ranging from censorship to profit.
The revelations from Project Veritas are an important ongoing story, and Disobedient Media will continue to provide coverage as it unfolds.