Twitter permanently suspends ‘Project Veritas’ group
BY JOHN BOWDEN – 02/11/21 04:25 PM EST
Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to Project Veritas on Thursday, citing repeat violations of the site’s policies against publishing private information.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the main Project Veritas account was permanently suspended, while founder James O’Keefe had his account temporarily locked. Several recent tweets on O’Keefe’s timeline appeared to have been deleted by Thursday afternoon.
Twitter did not immediately return a request for comment regarding private information shared by Veritas and O’Keefe.
Founded in 2010, Project Veritas is a right-wing group that routinely published undercover sting videos, some of which have been accused of deceptive editing. Last October the group was criticized after claiming to have uncovered a witness to voter fraud in Minnesota only for the witness to backtrack on his claims days later and accuse Project Veritas operatives of trying to bribe him, according to multiple reports.
The group, which frequently targets Democratic politicians and media organizations, scored a victory last year when an ABC News correspondent was suspended after a Veritas video showed him claiming that the network does not care about newsworthy issues.
They have also published videos of a “Good Morning America” anchor complaining about the network ignoring her story on disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
O’Keefe, in an emailed statement, told The Hill that the content in question was a video of Project Veritas members questioning a Facebook executive, Guy Rosen.
“Late last night, Twitter locked Project Veritas’s and my Twitter accounts, claiming we violated Twitter Guidelines by posting a video of our journalists asking questions of Facebook’s Vice President Guy Rosen which Rosen refused to answer. Twitter claimed the video published private information, which is false. Twitter invited Project Veritas to, and we did, appeal that decision with Twitter. In an apparent act of retaliation for daring to question their authority, Twitter responded to our appeal by suspending our account, continuing to tell us that Project Veritas could delete the tweet and have our account reinstated,” said O’Keefe.
Noah David Alter
February 12, 2021 4:08 AM
Update: James O’Keefe has responded to the suspension in a new video, stating that he will appeal the suspension and claiming that Twitter is applying a double standard to PV’s journalism:
The account of Project Veritas has been suspended from Twitter as of Thursday, and the investigative outlet’s founder, James O’Keefe, also had his account restricted.
There is conflicting information on social media right as to whether it is a suspension or a ban. O’Keefe and Project Veritas have appealed the decision.
These accounts were targeted after Project Veritas released a video showing Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen admitting that the social media platform “freezes” comment sections on posts where they suspect, but have not necessarily have confirmed, that “hate speech” is taking place.
“We have a system that is able to freeze commenting on threads in cases where our systems are detecting that there may be a thread that has hate speech or violence,” Rosen said. “These are all things we’ve built over the past three-four years as part of our investments into the integrity space, our efforts to protect the election.”
According to Twitter, Project Veritas’ video showing Rosen violated Twitter’s rules against “posting private information.”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Det Norske Veritas.
Project Veritas is an American far-right activist group founded by James O’Keefe in 2010. The group produces deceptively edited videos of its undercover operations, which use secret recordings to allege misconduct and corruption in mainstream media organizations and progressive groups. Project Veritas uses entrapment to generate negative publicity for its targets, and has propagated disinformation and conspiracy theories in its videos and operations.
Targets of Project Veritas include Planned Parenthood, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), NPR, CNN, and The Washington Post. In 2009, Project Veritas associates published misleading videos that depicted ACORN employees providing advice on concealing illegal activity, causing ACORN to shut down after losing funding; ACORN was cleared of wrongdoing by the Attorney General of California in 2010, and the associates paid a total of $150,000 in settlements to an ACORN employee who sued for defamation. NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigned in 2013 after Project Veritas released a deceptively edited video portraying another NPR executive making controversial comments about the Tea Party movement and NPR’s federal funding. Project Veritas unsuccessfully attempted to mislead The Washington Post into publishing false information about the Roy Moore sexual misconduct allegations in 2017; the Post won a Pulitzer Prize after uncovering the operation.
As a non-governmental organization, Project Veritas is financed by conservative fund Donors Trust (which provided over $6.6 million from 2011–2019) and other supporters including the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In 2020, The New York Times published an exposé detailing Project Veritas’ use of spies recruited by Erik Prince, to infiltrate “Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda”. The Times piece notes O’Keefe’s and Prince’s close links to the Trump administration, and details contributions such as a $1 million transfer of funds from an undisclosed source to support their work. The findings were based in part on discovery documents in a case brought by the American Federation of Teachers, Michigan, which had been infiltrated by Project Veritas.