NYT Part II: Manipulating Social Media with Help from Silicone Valley

They get by with a little help from their friends.

In part two of James O’Keefe’s undercover sting at The New York Times (part one can be viewed here), we are reintroduced to Audience Strategy Editor Nick Dudich who claims to be the “gatekeeper” for what goes up on social media for the NYT. In this video, Dudich explains he has help in manipulating social media thanks to some powerful connections in Silicon Valley.

With these friends, Dudich is able to force certain videos to trend and others to be buried. In one case, he said the NYT did a video that painted Facebook in a negative light. So, Dudich made sure as few people saw that video as possible to protect his connections. The same tactic is used when he wants a video boosted to the front page of YouTube.

One of those friends also appears in the video who is the Brand and diversity Curator at YouTube, Earnest Pettie. Coincidentally, Pettie and Dudic both worked together previously at Fusion ABC. Dudich regularly gets Pettie to promote his videos above others. Pettie bragged about his friend, saying Dudich is one of the most knowledgeable people he knows when it comes to social media. 

Pettie also revealed that YouTube decides what is “legitimate news” based on having “news partnerships” with certain outlets and that’s what determines what will or won’t be promoted.

“And if at that point, somebody decides they're going to scroll past [our suggestions] and go find Alex Jones, well, they were looking for him to begin with anyway."

Up to this point, this has been Dudich’s little secret. He admits in the video that he keeps it “a little bit of mystery… to make it look like what you do is harder than what it is.” When he was asked if having friends in Silicone Valley was good for business, he replied, “Yeah, very good! Very, very good.”

O’Keefe’s investigation has already caused the NYT to take another look at their employee. The company released the following statement:

Based on what we've seen in the Project Veritas video, it appears that a recent hire in a junior position violated our ethical standards and misrepresented his role. In his role at The Times, he was responsible for posting already published video on other platforms and was never involved in the creation or editing of Times videos. We are reviewing the situation now.

We anxiously await the fall of many more.