James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has really outdone itself this time with their undercover video series featuring Twitter. The revelations now in front of the public are beyond astounding, they are outrageous in their breadth and depth.
In talking to engineers and programmers from the platform, all of whom are on the green side of forty and largely not American sounding when it comes to speaking accents, the Project Veritas undercover reporters got the straight skinny on just what information is collected by that specific platform whenever a person not just signs up and begins tweeting or direct messaging, but visits. Basically, your entire online history is available for data dredging, and then can be sold to advertisers for Twitter’s profit.
Is this legal, the scandalized internet user asks. Oh, yes, and it’s a practice that’s been going on not just at Twitter but via all electronic sales and internet venues for a long time. That, O’Keefe explains, is why there are reams of user agreements to save Twitter from the user.
And that’s not all. The engineers have a specific complaint about what they’ve seen entirely too much of. Penises. Not kidding. There is an entire segment of video three devoted to the salacious photographs users send to other users. Apparently, male genitalia tops the list of things the engineers wish to never see again…right ahead of porn star advertising featuring women showing off their assets.
But, in the end, what stands out about video three in the Project Veritas Twitter series is the lack of concern for violations of privacy or even the Big Brotherness of the entire operation. One interviewee, Clay Haynes, Senior Network Security Engineer at Twitter, is an exception to that. He called the power to collect data “creepy” and did claim to be disturbed by it, which is far more scrupulous than his colleagues demonstrated. For most of them, the entire idea that there was no such thing as privacy with Twitter usage drew shrugs and “it’s not our problem” sorts of sentiments. And, another thing that was striking, Clay Haynes was one of the few Twitter employees in the video who was obviously raised in the United States. He, at least, displayed SOME discomfort with what the programming at Twitter does.
What this video does confirm, though, is that like a diamond, the internet is forever. Anything and everything sent either by tweet or direct message is kept in a database even if the user “deletes” it. That should be common sense for anyone using social media platforms. Unfortunately, sense isn’t all that common anymore.
Thanks to James O’Keefe and his team we now know that Twitter is really more of a Big Brother sibling. No great surprise, but the people who work there might learn something about privacy rights if they are going to live and work in the USA.