“I spent years working against extremists doing counterterrorism work in the FBI. And I have to tell you that that sort of a diverse cross-section of people is exactly what you see in the population of adherents, people who are attracted to extremist rhetoric and extremist movements. That is exactly what you see. When we looked at those Americans who traveled to Syria for the purpose of joining the Islamic State when you put all of those faces and names down in one place, you had doctors, lawyers, you had people who were Muslim their entire life and some people who had just converted only months earlier. You had rich people, poor people, men, women, of every ethnic variety. So I think that’s actually common to extremist groups. Some people are very vulnerable to and drawn into that core lie of any extremist movement, and that is exactly what we’re seeing now with these — this particular group of Trump supporters. They have invested, on an emotional and spiritual level, in this grievance that the election was stolen from them and they seem to be completely manipulated by that propaganda.”
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Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran
Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.
Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”
According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”
“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”
Instagram removed the below post from the @FarashgardFdn becase people chanted “down with Khamenei”.
— Iranian Americans for Liberty (@LibertyIranian) May 16, 2022
The Foreign Desk adds:
In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material.
A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.
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