"When Hartwig was hired in 2018 by the consultancy firm Cognizant as a 'Bilingual Social Media Content Moderator,' he didn’t realize the client he was serving was Facebook. At first, he was impressed by the company’s ambition to create 'reasonable rules for social media,' balancing freedom of speech with a need to regulate the spread of hate, misinformation, and promotion of violence. However, he began to suspect that Facebook was twisting that mission into an instrument of political warfare to promote its preferred causes and their champions, invariably on the left side of the political spectrum. Inspired by the right-wing activist group Project Veritas’ work, the author says that he began meticulously documenting the ways that the rules for content moderators were formulated and applied. According to Hartwig, the company chose to inconsistently apply their rules regarding extremist hyperbole, favoring groups with which it experienced ideological fellowship—including ones that advocated violence. Hartwig and co-author Heckenlively compellingly provide a mountain of evidence for their argument, and provocatively raise questions about the societal impact of a firm that wields such political influence within its reach, which includes a third of the world’s population . . . their book offers a valuable and informed contribution to an increasingly important discussion. An intriguing look at Facebook’s oversight of its users’ content."
“Few of us know the enormous challenges social media platforms face in policing their platforms to protect us from truly heinous violent or sexual content. We all benefit from Facebook's laudable efforts in this arena. But, as Ryan Hartwig reveals, there’s a dark side to Facebook’s attempts to thwart the dark side. In his nearly two years as a Facebook moderator, he documented how Facebook has crossed the line from monitoring for decency into ideological and political censorship, manipulation, and election interference—not only in the US, but around the world. Ryan's courageous exposé of the anti-democratic tactics and hidden agenda of this tech behemoth should deeply trouble all those who care about maintaining open, transparent, and free societies.”
—Dennis Prager, radio host of The Dennis Prager Show and writer
“Freedom of speech and freedom of conscience are both under threat because of authoritarianism ushered in by fascist corporations. You need to read this book immediately to understand how."
—Patrick Byrne, former CEO and founder of Overstock.com
“Ryan’s compelling story details how Big Tech casually decree themselves to be more powerful than the Constitution of the United States. This book will remind you that silence betokens consent and those that acquiesce are complicit.”
—Jani Allan, award-winning South African journalist
“Two thumbs up! A great read from a gutsy whistleblower who exposes how Big Tech protected Greta Thunberg and much, much more.”
—J.R. Nyquist, author
“Ryan Hartwig and Kent Heckenlively have teamed up to provide an amazing behind-the-scenes picture of how Facebook uses its position in the Big Tech world to control the information and searches for news stories around the world. They portray themselves as being so ‘friendly and helpful’ to the masses, while working behind the scenes to control and manipulate their favored liberal agendas. A life-changing page burner that marches against tyranny.”
—Max Swafford, author, educator, editor
“Behind the Mask of Facebook exposes how the tech giant seeks to stifle and silence conservatives and critics from an insider’s perspective. It is a timely read that should be read by everyone wishing to thwart the Big Tech takeover of our way of life.”
—Michael Cozzi, Newsmax journalist and academic
“Ryan Hartwig is one of the most important whistleblowers to emerge since the likes of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Ryan risked everything to reveal to the public the bias at Facebook and how they were using that bias and their monopoly to perform social engineering.”
—Zach Vorhies, Google whistleblower and co-author of Google Leaks