“I am suing Twitter for defamation because they said I, James O’Keefe, ‘operated fake accounts.’ This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay. Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me,” O’Keefe said in a statement following the platform’s action.
The ban comes after the undercover journalism nonprofit published a set of video recordings as part of an exposé on CNN. The recordings that were published this week show top CNN executives revealing that the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump and different matters as “propaganda.”
“All Americans who are defamed every day, whose lives have been destroyed, who did not have the means to fight back. This team is fighting for them, and the principles that define us,” O’Keefe wrote in the following statement on Telegram later in the day.
“The tyranny of Twitter who lied with malice about me, and admitted misinformation from CNN where they admitted they were propaganda, that we exposed this week—nothing can change The fundamentals. There is only one truth. And Millions see this for what it is—tyranny backed by extraordinary wealth, power. We will win. Indeed, we cannot lose. Thank you, Twitter, for giving us this opportunity for discovery into your operations, and to inspire hundreds, thousands, millions to follow.”
Twitter approved the suspension by saying that O’Keefe had broke Twitter rules on “platform manipulation and spam,” O’Keefe said, in particular, the section: “You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts,” and “you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.” O'Keefe disagrees.
This is Twitter’s latest enforcement action against Project Veritas and O’Keefe. In February, the platform suspended the non-profit’s account and barred O’Keefe’s account after the group posted a video of one of its reporters asking Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, Guy Rosen, for comment in front of his home.
Later, in March, the platform applied a tag on a post by Project Veritas that showed photos of unaccompanied children huddled under emergency blankets in crowded “cells” at a Texas detention center. The company later said that the label was “incorrectly applied by one of our automated tools” while admitting that the flag was eventually removed.
The social media giant has been criticized for purportedly using their monopoly to police speech they don’t agree with. Twitter has been extensively scrutinized for their distinguished political bias and claimed unbalanced moderation of users’ content, in particular after the platform permanently suspended the account of then-President Donald Trump. Critics say much of the companies’ moderation in the past year has centered on conservative speech and speech from people thought to be supporters of Trump.