tv Studio B Unscripted Maria Ressa Christopher Wylie P1 Al Jazeera January 22, 2022 2:30am-3:01am AST
checked in myanmar, citing the worsening humanitarian situation following last year's cool. rice globes . welcome the decision. the energy sector has been the armies biggest source of foreign income human rights watch says the military's crackdown on descent amounts to crimes against humanity. much one use as always on our website at al jazeera dot com. ah hello again. i'm fully betty ball. with the headlines on al jazeera, more than 80 people, including children have been killed in 2 airstrikes in yemen. the u. n. has condemned the latest that by the sound he led coalition and his called on all sides in the conflict to begin dialogue. no, any bombardment or their target civilians on the or that is not careful enough
to protect civilians is of course also an acceptable. but what we knew these to stop these rushes circle in which seeing skipped escalating one after the other. what he needs are used to her as we have been proposing from long ago a ceasefire together with the opening of harbor and the airports. and then the beginning of a studious dialogue among the parties, these escalation needs to stop. the us and russia have held frank talks, what they say, frank talks as they try to resolve their stand off over ukraine. moscow sticking to demands that nato should not let ukraine join the alliance, but that's been rejected by the u. s. and its european allies and explosion in western garner has killed me 13 people in reduced to mining town to rebel. it happened when a truck carrying explosives collided with a motorbike in the town of patty,
at least 11 migraines and refugees have drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of tenicia. the group was trying to cross the mediterranean to reach europe. 21 people were rescued by coast guards in north west syria, frost. heavy, rain and snow have damaged more than 70 cam, swore internally, displaced people. almost 3000 tents have been affected, leaving many families struggling to find shelter or stay warm. the un has warned of flooding when the snow starts to melt. millions of people are displaced within syria because of the civil war and anti abortion act of his, sorry, washington. marching to mark the anniversary of a landmark ruling that legalized abortion in 1973. thousands are marching to the supreme court as it considers to state benz limiting access to the procedure. and those are the headlines on al jazeera. i'll be back with more news after studio be unscripted to stay with us. february on i'll just either china host the winter olympics,
but we'll diplomatic boycott and the corona virus overshadowed the event rigorous debate them unflinching questions. up front cuts through the headlights to challenge conventional wisdom. al jazeera keeps you up to date of mation tackle the oma chrome buried amid continued vaccine inequality. one 0, one east investigates. how breaths it the pandemic and changing tastes are causing the great british curry crisis. the african union holds its 35th ordinary session. the 1st with israel as an observer state, with several nations campaigning against israel status and pressing issues across the continent. there is much disgust february on a jesse era. ah, why are journalists under attack? because democracy is 100. because you attacked the truth tellers because the integrity of facts is gone. when i started seeing videos of people so angry with things that were frankly untrue. and i realize i was working for
something i was evil. and i had been a part of actually creating a when mark soccer bird essentially said that it is okay for politicians to lie. that spells doom. ah, my name is maria theresa and i'm a journalist and author the message that the government is sending is very clear. be silent for your next. i receive thousands of death threats online. i'm christopher wiley. i'm a data scientist, but most people know me as the cambridge analytical whistleblower. facebook knew about cambridge analytic his schemes since 2015 before the story broke. facebook threatened to sue the guardian and then banned me for whistle blowing. i revealed har. data is being manipulated political gain without arkansas
since rapport started reporting, president detective doesn't work. i've been repeatedly charged and arrested. it makes you feel vulnerable, but i think that's the point, right. i'm inspired by her. maria continues to stand up for the truth in the face of real danger. christmas revelations lead to the largest deed, a crime investigation in history. if we allow cheating in our democratic per site, and we allow this mt. what about next time? what about the time after that? we know 1st hand what happens when social media is weaponized and the danger it now poses to our democracies around the world. this is an existential moment. and it's time for us all to act. ah
think so good to talk to you, you figured out and then you created a system. ah, you taught yourself how to code, you learned the data. and then you built this whole system that was very efficient at modifying behavior. and then you decided to take it down. when did you decide it was wrong? when i 1st joined the company that later became cambridge analytic at the l group, i joined the company that at the time was working on projects that were geared towards counter extremism encounter radicalization. looking at how extremism spreads online and we got discovered by a guy by the name of the banning who long story short got a billionaire to acquire the company. and what i saw was that i had
worked on a system that got essentially inverted to radicalize young men in the united states. and that, you know, witnessing the inception of an insurgency the already campaign. and so when i started seeing videos of people and focus groups who were so angry with things that were frankly untrue. you know, i realized i was working for something i was evil. and i had been a part of actually creating it. and i couldn't keep doing that. it's interesting when you said you were looking at it for counter radicalization at 1st i came to it because i was looking at how social network analysis spread the ideology of terrorism and we created rapper. because if you can convince people to blow themselves up with this radical ideology, why couldn't you have someone car for good? yeah, right. that's why we created rattler. but then when you started seeing the negative
parts, it's hard to pull yourself out. how'd? and to be a whistleblower. what gave you the courage to do that? yeah, i think at least for me you know, growing up kind of, i've an outsider. i was partly in a wheelchair when i was growing up because of an invisible disability. and then lobe on top of that sort of being clear, i came out as it was. so barbara, i've been coming out for my entire life and you know, for me it's that sense of otherness that and comfortable with being uncomfortable. yeah. that i think gave me a little bit of a nudge to help me become, become a whistle bar. but with setting up grappler and, you know, being on the outside, i think you're going out there every single day. pissing off a lot of people. i try not do you find that you know, your life's journey sort of influences that?
oh gosh i so i, i was born in the philippines and then moved the united states when marcia los declared in 1972. but when i was with americans, i never felt completely american. and when i'm filled with philipino, so i don't feel completely filipino either. so i guess it's that it's the otherness part of it. right. and that, that's good training for journalists or with the line or whistle blowing. but you find that there's a bit of an overlap because not that i would ever call myself a journalist. but in some sense, as i feel similar, there is something similar about that. you know, shoving uncomfortable information into people face it going, you have to pay attention to this and feeling the consequences of that. so i was gonna say, that's the mission of journalism, right? you speak truth to power and you know, power doesn't like that in your and i think you've been speaking truth. i mean,
there's a cost to yourself, but you also seem to learn something more from each instance that you've done that . has this been a good experience or a bad experience? the mixed bag, i guess. i mean, i think it's been on the hor, a good ex perience for it. i've learned a lot. so, you know, after watching 2016 happen and knowing so many things about what was going on, you know, i learned that i do feel compelled to speak uncomfortable truth, but at the same time, you know, you know, getting called to testify. congress, you know, as the 20 somethings gave or living in london, it's not something that you really expect to be part of your life's journey. that was pretty intimidating is pretty to me, to have, you know,
the department of justice. now the i sitting behind me and you know, giving me a subpoena after that but i think on the whole, it's been a good experience because if you think back before 2018, the idea that privacy or data protection, you know, the internet would be a mainstream political issue in the 2020 election and the primary race would kind of be laughable. so i feel like at least in not sense, exposing wrongdoing and exposing the structure is that facilitate and support that wrong doing with companies like facebook. yeah. have at least opened up an awareness into a conversation and our mainstream political discourse, i think, is productive. how is the is it to manipulate math on a mass scale? i get frustrated a lot by the, the current sort of discussion about election manipulation because it so focuses on the united states and britain because britain in the united states,
and i'm sure coming from the philippines. you know, this for, wow, have been manipulating elections and democracies around the world for hundreds of years. britain was a empire a you know, the reason why, you know, the national drink in britain is t and, you know, national animal is a lie and, and, you know, these are a natural thing here. and so i think the reason why people are so upset in the united states or in britain or other parts of europe is an american voter now understands what it feels like to be an african voter. because, you know, living in a country where you've got a gradually eroding information system where lies are everywhere, where you don't know what to trust. you've got foreign countries left right and center, trying to manipulate your trick. you deceive you and corruption rife, indeed, ministration. looking at the philippines and something that i'd be interested in
hearing your thoughts on coming from an ex us connie, where you had a large country dictating the terms of how government works. you know, it's, you know, becoming independent. yeah. and now having a large american corporations run by a bunch of straight white dudes in america, starting to influence at least what information is allowed or not allowed to exist. or what guess amplified and promoted or what does thing in the philippines do you, do you feel like there is a sort of neo colonialism happening online? so you're, you're the 1st person i heard say the colonialism never died. it just moved online . right. and i think we talked about facebook as the 1st level, which i mean, frankly, the collapse that roshan of our institutions began on facebook. when
the description of the philippines, sally carno wrote in our image and he described the philippines as a country that spent 450 years in a convent and 50 years in hollywood. we were colonized by spain and then the united states. and i think it's ironic that the country that gave democracy is also the the place where silicon valley then as given some one like to terry they're both so narrow these types of authoritarian leaders who work or killing democracy, the power to do it to manipulate people but i think we all know that the are countries in the global south bear the brunt of all the tech decisions that have been made. right? i mean, how do we get power, how we've never really had a seat at the table in these things. and we bear the worse. do you think that you should get the table? sure, that's part. i mean, part of the reason i can speak about it is because i can take you laid it in
a way that the west can understand. you currently are, you know, challenging and allegedly, and arguably corrupt regime. what does it mean for you to say give us as the other table? do you give a corrupt regime a seat at the table to talk about now? you know? so i think one of the things this time show us is exactly how human behavior is universal regardless of culture in many ways. because the very same things that manipulate americans and europeans are the very same things that manipulate us in the global south. we just don't have the institutions to fight back and look how weak your institutions have gotten here. behavioral modification system. ah, how do we fix it? i, i've been a journalist for this almost 35 years. it's never been as hard to work as
a journalist, as it is today. i have to post bill 8 pines. my government filed 11 cases and in death did 11 paces and investigations that year and then began arresting me in 2019 1st arrest was valentine's. that was, while i have a valid o n, my government seems to work very well in february this february. you know, they've, they've gone and filed a similar case against the largest broadcaster in the philippines. what would you say? you know, to see your critics in the philippines about the charges that you know, the government has launched against yo, did you break the law? oh my lord, i know i am challenging power, right? we continue to do our jobs and we will continue the line. i always use this, we are going to hold the line because the philippine constitution, like the united states constitution has
a bill of rights where pattern after the united states constitution. and let me ask you this, what the cambridge analytic could do in the philippines. the company operated in many places around the world. this is something that also i learned spending time there that you know, it, it's really profitable to go and corrupt government. because governments have like, really monetize of all of that. you've got sovereignty, it's something that's really hard for our company to replicate. and you know, with that you can, you can dictate mineral rise resource, right? passports, all kinds of things in the philippines. you know, they had an office there, you know, the story of the philippines. you guys kind of got trump before everybody else. okay. yes. you're facing present and quite serious charges, least 80 years. why do you care so much?
because then wouldn't it be easier to just go somewhere else? i mean, i could toss the same question that you why you became a whistleblower right? because this is the time that matters. because if i didn't stand up for the standards and ethics, the mission of journalism, when it matters, then everything else i did beforehand doesn't matter. and then i'm not who i am. defining who you are. oh, i hate this, i'm sure. ah, i hate that the baton was passed to me now, but that's why it matters. how do we get civic engagement? when people don't know the facts? i don't think we can. it's kind of like what we're doing right now. we're sitting on a stage. we're having a discussion, there is an audience they know that we're talking. and if i say something that's not true or somebody can call us out, or a journalist can call us,
what we have now is a situation where i can become invisible. and i can go and whisper in everybody's ear and they all hear something different, right? and i can do that now with the benefit of having followed everybody in the audience around for years and years and years reading through their text messages, listening to their phones, looking at everything that they look at, even when they don't realize that they're being watched. and i don't think that we can have a functioning democracy when there is no longer public discourse because everything has become privatized. and oftentimes people can't, don't even know if they're receiving something that is targeted or not, which again goes back to if you get rid of transparency, you get rid of accountability. you get rid of democracy. we can take questions from the audience. maria julie percetti from the international center for journalists. i've spent time with you and with your news organizations,
and i know that you have learned a lot as a result of the orchestra, to disinformation campaigns, the deliberate targeting of journalists and rattler. in particular, given that we're talking particularly about what christopher has referred to as porting, if these problems, you know, from the global south to the west. can you tell us sitting here in london? what journalists in particular, dealing with these problems now can do to prepare themselves. oh lord, ah. so if i think this is an existential moment for democracy, globally journalism, the death of journalism, i won't say the death of journalist, but the death of journalism is only the 1st signal for the death of democracy. our dystopian president is your dystopian future. if we don't do anything right now,
and of course with elections coming up in the united states, it's a huge problem. but what are the danger signals the fact that we don't know the facts. one the fact that you don't know who to trust. because in the philippines, the 1st targets of attacks and these are exponential attacks, right? i was getting an average of 9 d hate $90.00 hate messengers per hour in the philippines. in 2016, our data showed that women were attacked at least 10 times more than men. so miss sod, jenny sexism, ah, the kind of gendered sexualized, gender, the tax on women. um, what's the end goal? you pound someone to silence so that a whole narrative collapses. and then the voice with the loudest megaphone is amplified, bottom up, and then top down our president, for example, the attacks against me and wrapped her. we were attacked for
a year on facebook on social media, and then after that, a year later, president detector said the same exact thing, which is like astro turf ing it is. it lays the groundwork for what the government does a you are all living through something similar is just our institution crumbled within 6 months. your institutions are a little bit stronger than ours, but human beings behave the same way. and the lack of trust is ushering in a whole new 1931940 s, right? all of a sudden we're looking at hashes them, and i guess this is why i'm so scared and i want silicon valley. i want the west to have stronger institutions to do something more about it. because if we don't, instead of a year or 2 years of this, we're going to look at decades of fascism. my question to you, christopher,
i am from kenya. you work for cambridge analytical nairobi of a 70 people died may be directly or indirectly related to the role of cambridge and they took her question then is, is it legal or more for british or american farms to work in countries like her was and take advantage of lack of regulations and yet continue to operate. this is something that i found most shocking when you've got a, a company in country a, let's say it's in britain engaging with multiple firms and contractors each and their own jurisdiction. creating this information or hate propaganda that were it entirely in britain would be wholly illegal and then disseminating that in another country. because you've got so many
different players involved. and so many different components of wrong doing, it's actually really difficult to figure out where technically did a crime occur in tax while we're just starting to, you know, create principles and rules that prevent people from just hopping from one jurisdiction to another. but with data on the internet, we are where tax law was the 1950, not realizing that the internet is global. that data is global, that this information can be global. we lack, you know, not only the, the actual institutions to the police, but we actually lack like principals. and so lawmakers start to understand, actually how the internet works. i don't mean not sarcastically, like, as in that it is actually global. and that we need to create principles that, that in embrace that global ness. lots of wrongdoing can happen.
maria, you have been tried since and yet continued your fight. i'm originally from turkey and living in discovery for the last 20 years. and in my country, many journalists are in jail now, and many others are afraid of writing speaking. and so what do you say about journalism and fear? we never been as vulnerable as we are today. because power in countries like yours and mine ah, has taken what the internet, what social media, what company like cambridge analytic and it is, it isn't only cambridge analytical. we now have filipino companies like cambridge analytical, right? ah, they are the ones taking advantage of it. why is it that the bad guys are the ones who are taking these type these tools of manipulation and using them against us for
us, for some one like chandler dar for example, right? he had to flee his country and he made the decision to do that. at for fear of his life, others are dying up. we see this and every single report that comes out about journalism . why are journalists under attack? because democracy is under attack because you attacked the truth tellers because the integrity of facts is ah, gone. right? we're not agreeing on the facts and the internet. the way social media is set up. this one concept of growing it by having you choose friends of friends to grow has polarized our societies. so we have far more polarized societies and then we have no understanding of what the facts are. and then you attack institutions. and when you have someone like your leader and my leader,
they become stronger in this environment. they hijack. and this is why democracy his dying in our areas of influence. we need to protect the facts because if you don't have the facts, you can't have integrity of elections. you can't have integrity of markets. how can we have a working society if we don't have a public sphere where we agree on what the facts me we've always had the devil and the angel on our shoulders, right. the way the social media platforms have been formulated. fans the devil in your ear. why is it that you're allowed to experiment on societies and when real
people get killed, there are no actual consequences. it's like they invited people to their house and they gave everyone guns and said it's the wildlife. well, you know me, i'm, or where facebook's systems were being deliberately exploited to propagate messaging, contributing to, you know, ethnic violence and ethnic cleansing. you came into this, you looked at the code, you looked at the data and you later realized its impact on society and waiting for silicon valley to realize that as well. the oh, from the al jazeera london pro cal center to special guest in conversation. when you say a lie, a 1000000 times, it becomes a fact. you then can create whatever narrative you want on something uninterrupted
. you know, i realized i was working for something evil, you know, being a part of actually creating at maria right now. meet christopher wiley. the death of journalism is only the 1st signal for the death of democracy studio be unscripted on al jazeera ah. with frank assessments, this crisis continued to weaken a look a shell club, even though perhaps he believes in the beginning. there have been informed opinions . i think politicians will now be under incredible pressure from the young people. that is one of the most helpful things to come out of this critical debate. do you think i should be facilitated? not sure. okay, it's a great. it's a really simple question. let's give samuel
a child swans that inside story on al jazeera holding the powerful to account. as we examined the u. s, it's ro in the world on al jazeera saudi, as strikes in yemen, kill more than 80 people, mostly migraines, detained in a prison. the un is calling for an investigation. ah, hello, this is al jazeera live from doha fully back table, also coming up. no break through. i talked to diffuse tensions over ukraine as the top us in russian diplomats meeting geneva.