The conservative activist organization Project Veritas was suspended from Twitter on Thursday for violating platform rules.
The account was “permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter’s private information policy,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
The group’s founder, James O’Keefe, had his account temporarily locked, also for violation of the private information policy. “The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet to regain access to their account,” the spokesperson said.
O’Keefe on Thursday explained his and Project Veritas’ positions.
“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,” he said in an emailed statement. “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.”
O’Keefe added that he would not delete the tweet.
The Project Veritas account had been followed by former President Donald Trump’s adult sons, and the suspensions come amid a broader Twitter crackdown on accounts promoting misinformation. Last month following the Capitol insurrection, the social media platform announced that it had removed more than 70,000 accounts that promoted QAnon ideas, along with banning Trump.
Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) also recently sent a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Google, Youtube and Facebook, emphasizing the need for clear and accurate information as coronavirus vaccines roll out.
Project Veritas has been known to use deceptive practices and spread misinformation in attempts to expose what it views as “corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct” from liberal organizations or individuals. In September, Stanford University and University of Washington researchers wrote that a Project Veritas video alleging voter fraud with unidentified sources was what a “a domestic, coordinated elite disinformation campaign looks like in the United States.”
O’Keefe had also filmed himself crashing a private CNN teleconference in December.