- The Washington Times
Monday, April 19, 2021

Project Veritas President James O’Keefe sued Twitter on Monday for alleged defamation, after the platform permanently suspended his account last week. 

Twitterbanned the conservative activist last week amid his publication of content purporting to show a CNN staffer talking about the network’s efforts to defeat former President Donald Trump. Twitter cited its policies on platform manipulation and spam in explaining its ban of Mr. O’Keefe last week.  

Mr. O’Keefe’s lawsuit in New York claimed that Twitter alleged that Mr. O’Keefe was “operating fake accounts” in explaining its decision to remove Mr. O’Keefe’s account to journalists. 

“The reason Twitter never warned Mr. O’Keefe or otherwise took action relating to his supposed operation of ‘fake accounts,’ as alleged above, prior to his permanent suspension is that Mr. O’Keefe does not own, control, use, or operate fake Twitter accounts,” read the lawsuit. “Twitter’s claim that Mr. O’Keefe “misle[]d others on Twitter by operating fake accounts” is false and defamatory. As is relevant to Twitter’s false claim, Mr. O’Keefe only ever used his personal account to tweet links to the Project Veritas reports about CNN, as did many thousands of other Twitter users.”

Twitter declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Last week, Twitter told The Washington Times that Mr. O’Keefe was banned for violating Twitter’s rules on platform manipulation and spam. The Twitter spokesperson noted that the company’s policies prevent users from “mislead[ing] others on Twitter by operating fake accounts” and stop users from artificially amplifying or disrupting conversations via multiple accounts. 

Twitter said last week that its suspension of Mr. O’Keefe meant he would not be able to start any new accounts, but did not answer whether it suspended other accounts alongside Mr. O’Keefe.

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