I am Zach McElroy and I stood up for free speech against one of the biggest social media monsters in the world, Facebook.
When I first started working for Facebook at Cognizant, I had just moved to Tampa and was excited to finally be making something more than minimum wage - but what I saw there was very troubling.
As one of Facebook's Content Moderators, I felt a pang of guilt for being complicit in Facebook's rampant censorship - but I also recognized what a unique position I was in as one of the only conservatives in the entire office. I was a "man on the inside", but what could I do about the inexcusable things I saw there? My voice could only carry so far on its own. But I knew from the beginning I had to do something.
Some months later, I had the opportunity to see Pinterest whistleblower Eric Cochran speak at an event, and for the first time, I considered that my unique position in Facebook might be of interest to Project Veritas. I have been a fan of PV's work for years, but meeting and speaking with Eric made me realize this was the way to go to get this critical information out there.
Facebook is, needless to say, a behemoth of a company, and most people - including most of my former coworkers who didn't even find these abuses objectionable - would be terrified of ever speaking out publicly against them. Threatening NDAs ensured most of our silence, but nothing can stop the truth, and the courage of past PV whistleblowers gave me the confidence to step forward and expose the company for its egregious stifling of free speech and rampant abuse toward conservative voices - holding the new digital town square hostage under the guise of "preventing harassment", "tackling hate speech", etc.
While I was gathering newsworthy information and taking it to Project Veritas, in late February, the contract was ended between Facebook and my content moderation office. I have since been in self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and am still in search of new employment.
This has been a difficult time for my girlfriend and me, as our life plans have not only been put on hold due to the pandemic but thrown up in the air entirely by the loss of what was the only decently-paying job I've ever secured for myself. We dearly want to get married and start a family but going up against Facebook, not to mention the state of the job market, has made the security of our future uncertain.
I've worked my adult life to provide a foundation for my better half and I to start a family, buy a house, enjoy our life together. and right now I am not entirely sure how this will be affected. I may even face crippling backlash for speaking the truth and exposing Facebook, further engulfing me in a whole other miserable fight on top of all this.
It shames me to even create this page as I have always striven to be self-sufficient and provide for my household. But as things are so tenuous - in the middle of an unprecedented public health crisis no less - I am presenting my story for you here as humbly as I can do. What money gets raised here will enable me to start the most important series of chapters in my life, and that is honestly beyond all words of gratitude.
Thank you truly for hearing me, and above all else, let's hold these social media monsters accountable and make them play fair for once. The fight is far from over. Don't give up.
If you want to keep up with me more, you can follow me on Twitter:
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- Vicki Allison
- DAN HAWKINS
- Rinske Wagenaar