Blog • February 11, 2021

Twitter Permanently Bans Investigative News Site Project Veritas

The wrong-think police over at Twitter silenced an investigative news outlet in its latest demonstration of Big Tech censorship. 

Twitter permanently suspended the account of Project Veritas, a conservative investigative news outlet, along with a temporary suspension of its founder James O’Keefe on Thursday.

In a statement about the suspensions, Twitter told the Washington Examiner that O’Keefe and Project Veritas were “permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter’s private information policy.” Twitter noted that O’Keefe may be allowed back onto the platform if he deletes all of the “violative tweets.” Twitter’s private information policy forbids users from posting the personal information — such as a phone number, address, or social security number — of a non-public figure. 

The Project Veritas post in question featured a clip of a reporter asking Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen about leaked footage the organization obtained where Rosen said they were planning to develop a feature that could freeze comments if “hate speech” is detected. Twitter said the clip violated the private information policy because it was filmed outside of Rosen’s home, despite no street signs being included. 

While Twitter claimed that O’Keefe and Project Veritas violated the private information policy, many others noted that earlier in the week, a New York Times columnist, Nikole Hannah-Jones, had posted the phone number of a reporter from the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news organization, without consequence. Hannah-Jones posted a screenshot of a request for comment from Aaron Sibarium, an associate editor at the Beacon, that included his phone number. 

Twitter and other Big Tech companies have plenty of reason to want to silence Project Veritas permanently. 

Project Veritas is an investigative outlet that is known for publishing undercover footage of politicians and reporters. In recent months, Project Veritas has focused on exposing the leftwing bias and censorship taking place at Big Tech companies, including leaks from Facebook and Google. In 2019, Project Veritas published a whistleblower’s report from Google that revealed that executives were coming up with a plan to deal with the “Trump situation.”

Project Veritas has also gotten undercover recordings of Twitter officials, including a recording of Vijaya Gadde, Twitter Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Lead, discussing Twitter’s global political censorship efforts. 

Big Tech companies have a history of silencing organizations they see as a threat. Apple, Google, and Amazon all played a part in purging the alternative social media website Parler from the internet earlier this year. 

Erick Spracklen, the chief of staff for Project Veritas, said they would be appealing the decision to try to restore the account.

“Twitter is essentially saying we are to believe that a random number, on a random house, in a random location, is revealing ‘private information.’ Absurd. We have appealed this and are eagerly awaiting Twitter’s response,” Spracklen said.