US Senator Josh Hawley in a US judiciary hearing revealed that Facebook has a tool to covertly track users even outside its platform. The senator also said that with Twitter and Google, the big three tech firms are coordinating with each other using a tool called Tasks to easily ban or block users in their platforms.
“Centra is a tool that Facebook uses to track its users, not just on Facebook but across the entire internet. Centra tracks different profiles that a user visits, their message recipients, their linked accounts, the pages they visit around the web that have Facebook buttons,” Sen Hawley disclosed in a judiciary hearing on November 17, according to the senator he got this information from a Facebook whistleblower.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under oath during the hearing answered Sen. Hawley when asked about this tracking tool said “I’m not aware of a tool with that name.”
He however admitted under Senator Hawley’s incessant grilling that a Facebook employee could access any user’s personally identifiable information without the account holder’s knowledge.
Sen. Hawley also said that Centra could monitor users’ accounts even if those accounts are registered under a different name by using behavioral data. This could be the reason why many accounts created by users under a different name are banned immediately even before they are activated.
At the hearing, Senator Hawley also mentioned the use of Tasks, a tool the social media giant uses to improve the workflow of Facebook employees but is also used to collaborate with Google and Twitter in censoring users across platforms. This according to Hawley is the reason “how a user is banned and or locked on one platform often gets quickly banned or locked on the others.”
Senator Hawley asked Zuckerberg: “Do you communicate with Twitter or Google about coordinating your policies?” Which the obviously shaken Zuckerberg answered: “I think it would be probably normal for people to talk to their peers and colleagues in the industry. I am not saying I’m not aware of any conversation, but I would expect some level of communication probably happened.”
Sen. Hawley (@HawleyMO) wrote on Twitter:
“Under oath, Zuckerberg admits Facebook DOES have “tools” to track its users across the internet, across platforms, across accounts – all without user knowledge. I ask how many times this tool has been used domestically against Americans, Zuck wont say.
“Ever wonder how a user banned or locked on one platform often gets quickly banned or locked on the others? This is how.”
Whistleblower says Twitter and Google routinely suggest censorship topics – hashtags, individuals, websites, many of them conservative – and Facebook logs them for follow-up on Tasks. But Zuck REFUSES under oath to turn over a list of Twitter or Google mentions on Tasks.”
“Facebook whistleblower tells me FB uses its internal project management system, ‘Tasks,’ to coordinate censorship with Twitter and Google.”
“If we don’t take action now to rein in the BigTech corporations, they will rule this country…”