As promised by its founder, James O’Keefe, Project Veritas dropped another “shoe” on the New York Times as part of its ongoing undercover investigation into liberal bias in the mainstream media.
Wednesday evening, Project Veritas released a second installment in its undercover investigation dealing with New York Times Audience Stratgy Editor Nick Dudich in which he claims to have the ability to push certain videos and hold back others. And he does it with the help of YouTube, the world’s largest social media platform.
In one clip, Dudich states:
"As an editor, I’m a gatekeeper. So, I can choose hat goes out and what doesn’t go out. And, let’s say we wrote something about Facebook negatively—we actually just did a video about Facebook negatively, and I chose to put it in a spot that I knew wouldn’t do well …
And also, like, I can put that program that—at a time of the day where I knew it’d get killed."
In another, he claims he is able to do this because he has connections at YouTube:
"Keeping it hush-hush because, let’s say something ends up on the YouTube front page. The New York Times freaks out about it, but they don’t know it’s just because my friends curate the front page. So, it’s, like, a little bit of mystery you need in any type of job to make it look like what you do is harder than what it is."
As he did in the first installment, O’Keefe notes this is a violation of The Times’ ethics handbook. But, unlike previous boasts made in the opening video, Dudich is apparently being 100-percent honest about the arrangement.
One of his friends at YouTube, Brand and Diversity Curation Lead Earnest Pettie, says The Times employee “has more knowledge about YouTube as a platform than probably anyone else that I know.” Pettie also admits the platform’s news carousel’s algorithm can be manipulated to produce specific results:
"I work on a team that does provide some human inputs into a lot of the machinery of YouTube … The algorithms do control everything, but sometimes you need humans to provide a check. Because if you don’t, then you end up with, like … hugely embarrassing things …
In very rare cases, we will try to make up for the fact that something isn’t in the trending tab. This is very rare. But, in those cases, then we will, like, use some type of intervention to make sure that, like—to encourage the thing to be there, basically."
Alluding to claims Dudich made in the first Project Veritas video about pushing the Comey hearings on Capitol Hill, Pettie admits the algorithms were manipulated to make sure they appeared in the news carousel, a relatively new addition to the platform.
The YouTube curator also said the platform’s relatively new news carousel comes only from sources YouTube has deemed “legitimate.” This also applies to carousels developed for specific current-event topics:
"That’s them thinking, like, there’s this need. People are searching for a topic that is—that our systems know is a “newsy” topic, so let’s give them videos that we know to be newsy, because we know we have these news partnerships."
O’Keefe concludes this is the very kind of censorship George Orwell warned the world about in his book, 1984. YouTube has yet to respond to the video, but The Times’ Deputy Managing Editor for Digital Platforms Clifford Levy posted the following response on Twitter:
Project Veritas published a video today purporting to show a junior NYT staffer who is a recent hire. The official NYT response: pic.twitter.com/Skp5Fv05Ye— Clifford Levy (@cliffordlevy) October 10, 2017
O’Keefe said Project Veritas has even more reports to come.