Project Veritas: Investigating the Claim "Google Plans to Hack the 2020 Election

-edited

Project Veritas released video that purportedly prove Google hopes to rig the 2020 election for Democrats.

Q: What's the specific accusation?

A: The project claims an Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam.

Video "Proof"

You-Tube removed the video, but you can play it in the above link.

Alleged "Brave Insider" Synopsis

A voice-disguised, alleged insider claims Google “is bent on never letting somebody like Donald Trump come to power again.” The video does not show that insider.

Instead, the video hops back and forth from a person you cannot see to Google exec Jen Gennai, head of Responsible Innovation.

The video makes it appear as if responses by Gennai were related to accusations by the alleged insider, but the reality is Project Veratis hides the actual questions it posed.

We do see and hear this response by Gennai: "Trust and Safety, top of my mind they [presumably developers] have been working on it since 2016, to make sure we're ready for 2020."

In a similar recorded clip, there is a question about Artificial Intelligence (AI) but we do not know the exact question.

Jen Gennai responds "The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand. That there were not saying what's fair and equitable so we're like, well we are a big company, we're going to say it. People who voted for the current president do not agree with our definition of fairness."

There is yet another question we do not hear with this answer from Gennai, in the form of her own question: "We're also training our algorithms if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?"

Throughout, the "brave" voice-disguised alleged insider fails to reveal himself.

25 Minutes of Garbage

If you wish to hear 25 minutes of grossly-distorted, out of context conspiracy theories, then play the entire video.

At a minimum, it would have been more credible if we at least heard the questions that Gennai answered instead of having the questions appear as if they came from a voice-muffled, alleged insider.

Hack the Election

Tucker Carlson at Fox News piles on with this allegation Google Wants To Hack 2020 Election.

Hacking? Really?

Hold on, the claims get sillier.

Nazi Dog Whistles

If you can stomach watching, there is a discussion of Nazis and dog whistles in the Veritas video.

Project Veritas Banned by Vimeo

Google took the video down and so did Vimeo.

ZeroHedge reported Project Veritas Banned By Vimeo After Uploading Undercover Google Exposé.

Media Conspiracy

The Vimeo ban led to charges of media conspiracies involving, Google, You-Tube, Vimeo, and Twitter.

James O'keefe, president of Project Veritas, made these claims:

Privacy Policy

YouTube’s privacy guidelines ban videos that identify people who don’t want to be identified.

There are exceptions for public figures, but Gennai is not a public figure.

James O'keefe lied.

Successful Gotcha

The Verge provides a genuinely intelligent discussion: Project Veritas’ YouTube sting was deeply misleading — and successful

The whole situation would probably have stayed quiet if it weren’t for Ted Cruz, who called out the video in an uncomfortable moment at the Senate Commerce hearing the following day. Cruz was questioning Google UX Director Maggie Stanphill, who was nominally there to speak about dark patterns in interface design. Cruz took her to task for the quote in the video, and then again when he realized she hadn’t actually read the report.

“I would recommend people interested in political bias at Google watch the entire report and judge for yourself,” Cruz said. The clip was then circulated on the usual right wing outlets (Town Hall, Breitbart, PJ Media), and got a minor replay from the Homeland Security Committee the next day. After that last hearing, the scandal grew big enough that YouTube decided to issue an official denial, saying simply “we apply our policies fairly and without political bias.”

It’s embarrassing that Congress took this so seriously, and no one wants to give it any more attention than it deserves. But O’Keefe has played this trick over and over, so it’s worth breaking down exactly what’s happening here.

To start with, there’s a fairly straightforward reason why the Veritas video was banned. YouTube’s privacy guidelines ban videos that identify people who don’t want to be identified. The offending footage is the hidden-camera video of Gennai, who is no one’s idea of a public figure, and obviously didn’t consent to be in the video.

Even if you see Veritas as making a newsworthy point about platform bias, it’s hard to argue that including Gennai’s name and face was necessary to make that point. (Hidden camera footage used on broadcast news typically blurs out faces for exactly this reason.)

O'keefe Tactics

Please consider this Wikipedia discussion of James O'Keefe

James Edward O'Keefe III (born June 28, 1984) is an American conservative political activist. He produces secretly recorded undercover audio and video encounters with figures and workers in academic, governmental, and social service organizations, purporting to show abusive or allegedly illegal behavior by employees and/or representatives of those organizations. He has been criticized for selectively editing videos to misrepresent the context of the conversations and the subjects' responses, creating the false impression that people said or did things they did not.

He gained national attention for his video recordings of workers at Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) offices in 2009, his arrest and guilty plea in 2010 for entering the federal office of then-U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) under false pretenses, and the release of videos of conversations with two high-ranking, now former, NPR executives in 2011.

When his videos portraying ACORN workers seemingly aiding a couple in criminal planning hit the 24-hour cable news cycle, the U.S. Congress quickly voted to freeze funds for the non-profit. The national controversy resulted in the non-profit also losing most of its private funding before investigations of the videos concluded no illegal activity occurred. In March 2010, ACORN was close to bankruptcy and had to close or rename most of its offices.

One of the fired ACORN workers sued O'Keefe for invasion of privacy; O'Keefe issued an apology and agreed to pay $100,000 in a settlement.

Whoa!

Wikipedia is obviously part of the giant global medial conspiracy.

Once a Crook, Not Always a Crook

Once a crook does not mean always a crook but there is no doubt the videos violate Google's terms of service.

Moreover, the video clearly hid the questions.

Extreme Polarization

No doubt, right-wing conspiracy theorists will not get this far.

They stopped reading long ago. In two seconds flat I was no doubt branded as being part of the radical left-wing conspiracy, willing to do and say anything to aid the radical-left cause.

Curiously, I was accused just yesterday, on Twitter, of being both far-left and far-right.

If you support Trump on anything, you are accused of being far-right. If you don't, then, in this binary world, you must be far-left.

The same applies to abortion and a whole slew of issues that have been polarized beyond belief.

Mish Q&A

Q1: Is mainstream media overwhelmingly biased against Trump?

A1: Yes, obviously

Q2: Did you vote for Trump?

A2: Yes

Q3: Would you vote for Trump again vs. Hillary

A3: Yes, I still would

Q4: Do you disagree with Trump on many things?

A4: Yes, unlike biased right-wing news sources, I often disagree with Trump. Unlike the biased liberal media, I sometimes agree with Trump.

Q5: Can you provide examples?

A5: Yes, I believe Trump made two excellent choices for the Supreme Court. I vehemently disagree with Trump regarding trade policy.

Is Mish Part of the Giant Media Conspiracy?

Clearly, I am part of the conspiracy.

In this polarized, one-or-the-other world, there is no room for middle ground on anything.

Thus, I am simultaneously extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing.

That is the only logical conclusion.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (51)
No. 1-25
WildBull
WildBull

While I might agree that the video was crap, the leftward filtering is not. It it here and won't be going away anytime soon. As the related article suggests, check auto complete for "men can" "women can" "donald trump's emails" and "hillary clinton's emails" and tell me they don't filter left

SMF
SMF

Not that much if anything has changed over our lifetime, but I have never been able to locate a single source or any story that could be considered 100% true.

JL1
JL1

Couple of points:

  1. Vimeo is an advertiser in Google search, video uploaders in vimeo can use google adsense, vimeo gets organic search traffic from Google. Google could stop all these in 1 minute and destroy vimeo so vimeo was FORCED to remove the video without Google even requesting it. Most likely the Google employee requested it after instructed to do so by Google. Google has Grown too large and should be broken up in at least 6 companies and each of these companies should be regulated like an Utility due to their monopoly like market presence (search, adsense, doubleclick, youtube, chrome, android)

Youtube has millions of videos where people who do not want to be identified are identified. 3. What Jen Gennai said is news and newsworthy no matter if you dislike Veritas editing style. This is editing that must be done if the journalist asking questions wants to get more than 1 undercover report done at Veritas. Despite not being a public figure Gennai has more power than many countries prime ministers so there should be check and balance by independent media despite Google trying to buy Washington also thru lobbying in addition to the fear their huge size causes. 4. Veritas is doing important service because otherwise people would hear only PR platitudes.

JL1
JL1

All big companies should hire so that employees have also diversity of opinion and this must be made a law and firing workers based on their personal opinions should lead to huge fines. Many tech companies and media companies are echo chambers.

JL1
JL1

Everyone should watch the leaked video of google executives reacting to Trumps win...

JL1
JL1

Wikipedia has a strong left liberal bias due to more market oriented people usually preferring to get paid for their work and many leftists wanting to change the world to their utopia. Post facts that are not liked by leftists and you are EX wikipedia editor.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Nearly all of Wikipedia is robot-posted One can claim the robot is biased, but there are not that many people making decisions except on challenges - at least that is my understanding

Tengen
Tengen

Big tech surveillance is a MASSIVE problem. Combine it with something like China's Sesame Credit and it would be devastating to whatever semblance of freedom is left in the US. Building detailed profiles on Americans without their knowledge or consent is already ominous enough.

But trying to influence elections? I hope that's what they're doing because it's a waste of time. People hyperventilating about this should remember that both Trump and Obama were supposed to represent different flavors of hope and change. The main problems in our society, from the Fed to the MIC, are not impacted at the ballot box. Until that's the case, voting accomplishes little other than giving people a false sense of control.

Aaaal
Aaaal

Lost in Mish's assessment is the fact that ABC Inc. is looking to influence the election. Not necessarily hack it, just use its VAST resources to prevent the Trumpster from being re-elected. No matter how you paint it, it's still wrong.

Mish
Mish

Editor

Stuki: "I try to influence the election as well."

I certainly try to influence public opinion. I do a poor job in my own estimation when many of my own readers don't understand free trade.

I try not to distort things but I am sure at times I do. We are all influenced by our own biases.

Clearly, google is in a better position to influence things. Is that wrong? Illegal? Immoral?

Those questions aside, I am sure the video purposely points a false picture. But what is the correct picture?

I genuinely don't know and I doubt anyone else does either.

Mish
Mish

Editor

One of my political problems is that I do not support parties.

Tough to get a huge following

Much easier to scream and howl at virtually everything Trump does, or Obama did, whether I believe it or not.

For all we know, Veritas is a huckster taking donations and laughing all the way.

TroyT
TroyT

Anyone with a brain can see that the video is 100% correct. There is no legitimate way to spin this story. "The Trump Situation" was not referring to Cambridge Analytica, Google was not even involved in that scandal so why in the world would anyone be "Charging" Google to prevent that type of situation?

When you look at all the evidence in the past 2 years it is painfully obvious that the video exposes a truth that Google is trying to hide. Everyone knows that these big tech companies are chock-full of liberal bias and its seeping out of the cracks now.

This wont stop.

leicestersq
leicestersq

Is Gennai a private figure? She seems pretty senior and I am not so sure one could clearly say that she isnt of sufficient seniority to have become a public figure.

The speed with which the video was taken down is also telling for me.

Lastly, the vimeo reason given for taking the video down isnt the same reason as the one Mish gave. The Vimeo reason is that it is defamatory, hateful or discriminatory. It doesnt mention a private figure being featured as the reason. It would be interesting to see the Google reason too.

Looks to me like these big social media companies are hiding something.

Je'Ri
Je'Ri

Gee, Mish, do you remember early episodes of 60 Minutes? They pioneered the art of what O'Keefe is doing.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Google may be able to create a small influence in the election, but they can't rig anything.

To me, it seem that google has altered their search results. There are documents that I used to be able to find easily that are impossible to find now. They have a right to do so.

WildBull
WildBull

It is Google's right to do what they want. They are a private organization. To restrict them IS playing on the Left. Free speech is free speech. The only correct recourse is to support those that respect your views and do not support those that don't. It is essentially impossible to avoid Google and do anything on line, but my next phone is Apple and I'm looking into other search engines and other ways to avoid ABCinc. Not that Apple is better, they just have less influence in the marketplace of ideas. I will attempt to reduce the ad revenue that Google generates because of my activity on the internet.

@KidHorn -- Don't underestimate the power of propaganda. No one avoids its influence.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

“Clearly, I am part of the conspiracy.”

Sorry, but you didn’t even make the The Washington Post’s list of some 200 banned media outlets.

Still, I’m flummoxed that every time I pull up your blog the signal seems to be coming from the Ecuadorean consulate for some damn reason.

🤔📡😕

Matt3
Matt3

Google, Facebook and the rest of tech are tilted to the left just as Fascism is. They are the perfect example of the merger of big government and big business. Using private companies to distort news, skew discussions and limit free speech in a way that the government would be restricted from doing. Google was in the Obama WH all the time and worked with the DNC. They were shocked when they lost and now will re-calibrate to be sure this doesn't ever happen again. Is anyone surprised?

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

There is actual facts and there is media. Neither side really gets the facts right. They distort it for their own advantage.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Clowns to the left of me jokers to the right here I am stuck in the middle with you.

RonJ
RonJ

Google, Twitter, Facebook and the mainstream media are meddling in our elections.

Tulsi Gabbard was on Colbert. Colbert attacked Gabbard over her anti war position. It was an attempt to prejudice the audience against Gabbard, not simply to ask her what her political views were and leave it to the audience to decide whether they wanted to support her.

It is fine if the news networks carry debates. It is not fine that they moderate the debates. MSM propagandists are not neutral moderators. CNN moderators treated the republican candidate debates differently than they treated the democrat candidate debates in 2016. In the second Presidential Debate, after Trump reamed Hillary over the server, a female CBS moderator rushed to put words in Hillary's mouth, in order to defend Hillary. That was not moderating a debate, that was meddling in favor of one of the debaters. Trump was correct to say the debate was two against one.

Supposedly, 90% of political contributions from Google employees go to democrats. In 2016, democrats were gathering information from Facebook without permission. When caught, they were told that it was OK, "we're on your side." It is easy to see to what political side the big tech/media companies are slanted against. It is a threat to democracy.

Brutus' Admirer
Brutus' Admirer

I have proven to myself (using their search) to my satisfaction that Google has an agenda and is not a free speech entity. They are evil for helping the Chinese Communist govt, and they are evil for how they bias information in the US. At a minimum, they should lose their exemption from being sued!

anon1
anon1

Maybe you ought to dig a lot deeper before you start calling people names. We are more than a year into conservative censorship and deplatforming. I don't think you're part of any conspiracy. I think you're just popping off for attention. Comes across as arrogant.

After you've invested, I don't know, maybe 1% of the time you would for economic issues you blog about, maybe then you'd be ready to express an informed opinion.

As-is, you look uniformed at best, naive most likely, or an attention monger.

Might stick to what you know - economics. Otherwise... this happens.

anon1
anon1

BTW, I 100% agree about the cut aways and not knowing the questions specifically. But I've seen so much evidence of censorship and bias against conservative voices, combined with stellar expose journalism by PV, that I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unlike you (in politics), they've earned it.

You do know CNN and others were sued for more than $250 million dollars for the biased reporting they did on the Catholic school boy, right? Or did you miss that, too? If so, perhaps you should temper your outrage until you understand the situation.

abend237-04
abend237-04

"...so little pains do the voters take in investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, Book 1, Chapter 1

The above was written around 420 BC and while we, "the voters" haven't changed much, our technology and ability to access that critical "first story" has changed profoundly via Google. It's a problem.