Project Veritas reported that its account on Twitter Ads was suspended permanently for “inappropriate content.” In a video posted to Twitter, the organization’s founder, James O’Keefe, explained how the censorship occurred.
Twitter recently banned all political ads, except for cause-based ads from nonprofit and for-profit organizations. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for example, can still run ads on Twitter. But some conservative sites have not fared as well as the SPLC.
“A few weeks ago,” O’Keefe said, “we tried to do an ad campaign for this recruiting of undercover journalists.” While the ad was fine “at the time,” the Twitter ads team eventually suspended the ad. The team sent an email, dated Nov. 14, to Project Veritas, (which was shared with the Media Research Center (MRC)). It said: “We have determined that the following Tweet cannot be included in your Twitter ads campaigns.” The reason was because of “[i]nappropriate language.”
The video that the Ads team linked to reportedly had Twitter’s Trust and Safety Policy Manager Olinda Hassan saying, “Yeah, that’s something we’re working on. It’s something we’re working on. We’re trying to get the shitty people to not show up. It’s a product thing we’re working on.”
Eventually, on Nov. 21, Project Veritas received another email from Twitter Ads. The email, which was also shared with the MRC, said, “@Project_Veritas, your account is ineligible to participate in Twitter ads. A user associated with your account is ineligible to participate in the Twitter ads program at this time. This determination is based on the following Twitter Ads policy: @Project_Veritas: Inappropriate content.”
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 25, 2019
A Twitter spokesperson told the MRC, “The Project Veritas Twitter Ads account is ineligible to advertise on the Twitter Ads platform due to violation of Twitter Ads policies. The account may, however, continue to Tweet organically as long as it complies with the Twitter Rules.”
This is not the first time Project Veritas has been censored by Twitter. The official Twitter account was suspended in June 2019 after releasing a video exposing the censorship that Pinterest was enacting against pro-life groups such as Live Action.
Other conservative organizations, like Live Action, have also been permanently banned from Twitter Ads. Live Action announced that Twitter refused to run any of its ads until the organization had deleted certain tweets that Twitter had deemed offensive.