On Thursday, Feb. 11, Twitter permanently shut down the account of Project Veritas over supposed “repeated violations” of the social media network’s rules on sharing other people’s private information. The suspension came after the organization posted leaked footage of communications between Facebook executives.
Twitter declined to say which specific tweets triggered the ban. But in a post on Project Veritas’ Telegram channel on Thursday afternoon, the group stated that the suspension came after it published a video wherein they accosted Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen at his home.
“The tweet in question arose when asking for comment from Facebook’s VP of Integrity about censorship,” Project Veritas said on its Telegram channel. “Project Veritas is appealing this decision, as no privacy was violated.”
Censored video showed Rosen talking about freezing “hate speech”
In the footage from the offending Tweet, Rosen can be seen explaining how Facebook is now freezing comments from users in places where their algorithms think there “may be” hate speech.
“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, sort of in the comments,” Rosen can be heard explaining in a leaked video.
He adds that the system was put in place to “protect the election.”
In a second video posted by the group, a Project Veritas staffer is seen confronting Rosen on the sidewalk as he returned home.
“When you talk about freezing comments containing hate speech, what do you mean by that?” the staffer asked. “How do you define ‘hate speech?’ Is it just speech that you hate?”
While the footage was shot outside Rosen’s home and the number on his address was visible, the street name was not. In addition, the license plates from surrounding cars was also blurred.
“What I’m trying to understand is, what about what we did is quote ‘posting private information’?” Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe said in an interview with The Wrap.
“Reporters with microphones [and] cameras engage in reporting activities on the streets all the time in residential communities, so I’m trying to understand what Twitter considers violating their rules against posting private information,” he continued. “Does Twitter consider reporting information the public has a right to know private information? This is quite the Rubicon we’re crossing if Twitter wants to ban this particular piece of information.”
O’Keefe’s Twitter account also locked
In addition to suspending Project Veritas’ account, Twitter has confirmed that it has also temporarily locked O’Keefe’s account. It confirmed that O’Keefe would have to remove the flagged content before he would be allowed to tweet again.
In a statement emailed to CNN Business, O’Keefe said that it was “false” that the video contained private information. He said that Twitter has told him that he can regain access to the accounts if he removes the flagged tweets from the Veritas account.
But Twitter has since responded to CNN Business saying that it had mistakenly communicated that message to O’Keefe. It stated that there would be no way for the group to restore its account and that it’s suspension was permanent and final.
For his part, O’Keefe isn’t surprised by the social media giant’s actions. Talking to the New York Post, he made reference to the company’s blocking of the latter last fall, something which Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted to Congress was erroneous, while still insisting that the Post delete its own tweet. (Related: Election interference? Facebook and Twitter suppressing New York Post bombshell story of damaging Hunter Biden emails.)
“Here we go again – Twitter opting to delete news and demand fealty when their decision is dared to be questioned.”
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