Twitter has banned right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe, creator of political gotcha video producer Project Veritas, for violating its “platform manipulation and spam policy,” suggesting he was operating multiple accounts in an unsanctioned way. O’Keefe has already announced that he will sue the company for defamation.
The ban, or “permanent suspension,” as Twitter calls it, occurred Thursday afternoon. A Twitter representative said the action followed the violation of rules prohibiting “operating fake accounts” and attempting to “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts,” as noted here.
This suggests O’Keefe was banned for operating multiple accounts outside the laissez-faire policy that lets people have a professional and a personal account, and that sort of thing.
But sharp-eyed users noticed that O’Keefe’s last tweet unironically accused reporter Jesse Hicks of impersonation, including an image showing an unredacted phone number supposedly belonging to Hicks. This, too, may have run afoul of Twitter’s rules about posting personal information, but Twitter declined to comment on this when I asked.
Supporters of O’Keefe say that the company removed his account as retribution for his most recent “exposé” involving surreptitious recordings of a CNN employee admitting the news organization has a political bias. (The person he talked to had, impersonating a nurse, matched him on Tinder.)
For his part, O’Keefe said he would be using Twitter for defamation over the allegation that he operated fake accounts. I’ve contacted Project Veritas for more information.