Are Big Tech companies coordinating against the investigative journalist group Project Veritas? It certainly seems that way based on Silicon Valley's reaction to their latest exposé. In the past 48 hours Youtube, Pinterest, Twitter have all taken punitive action against the conservative watchdog and other right-leaning groups featured in their videos.
Last night, Beth covered how Twitter bogusly restricted the Project Veritas Twitter account for supposedly violating somebody's personal privacy by posting internal documents from the social media site Pinterest. These documents leaked by a whistleblower show that the tech company was actively, and falsely, labeling the pro-life group LiveAction as "pornography" and other falsehoods against conservatives in order to suppress content. Pinterest responded not by punishing the employees who mislabeled pro-lifers, but by banning LiveAction from their platform. Their crime? They were apparently spreading misinformation, according to the website. What that misinformation was exactly is unclear. The employee who released the information was subsequently fired.
Pinterest released the following statement to the Daily Caller defending their actions:
“LiveAction.org was actioned for misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn. Sometimes our internal tools have legacy names for the technology that enforces some of our policies. This technology was named years ago to combat porn, and has since expanded to a variety of content despite retaining its original internal name. We are updating our internal labeling to make this clear.”
As for Twitter, in order to get their account back online, Project Veritas deleted the tweet which apparently violated the company's terms of service. But shortly after this occurred the founder of Project Veritas, James O'Keefe, announced that YouTube had now inexplicably deleted the entire video from its platform.
"Tech giants retaliating against an insider who leaked docs showing censorship of christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. @YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it," O'Keefe tweeted.
Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. @YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it. Video still on our website: https://t.co/e45KJp6BsO pic.twitter.com/mwldXVwjVV— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019
According to the Project Veritas account, YouTube cited a "privacy complaint" against the video. The non-profit categorically denied this was an invasion of privacy.
"If using people's names and faces in an investigative report warrants a 'privacy complaint,' we fear the future of journalism in this country," the non-profit said. "@YouTube needs to look up journalism in the dictionary," they added for good measure.
The whistleblower who started all of this was a Pinterest engineer named Eric Cochran. He told Fox News' Tucker Carlson last night that he turned to James O'Keefe because he "saw wrongdoing" and wanted to shine on a light on conservative censorship in Silicon Valley.
"The normalization of censorship within Big Tech companies right now is downright un-American," he added. "And I saw this as the fight for abortion. I saw a Big Tech company saying...behind closed doors that they believe that Live Action shouldn’t have a platform to speak, and the big thing is: I want them to have to...say this publicly instead of behind closed doors."
The whistleblower encouraged more pro-lifers in Big Tech to come out of the shadows, and hold the companies that they work for accountable.
This is about abortion. You are seeing now with YouTube doing Pinterest’s bidding by removing the Project Veritas video. You are seeing that they are going to do whatever it takes. They are 100% in to protect the abortion lobby. And pro-lifers who exist within Big Tech companies — there’s a lot of us. They need to come to Project Verita,s and they need to expose what’s going on. They need to make these tech companies like I have explicitly say that ‘we are on the side of the abortion lobby.’
In response to Cochran's bravery the founder of LiveAction, Lila Rose, encouraged those supporting the whistleblower to donate to a GoFundMe that will support Cochran in wake of his firing.
Yesterday, Eric Cochran was fired for exposing @Pinterest’s secretive blocking of @LiveAction’s pro-life content. Let’s support this incredibly brave whistleblower who risked his career in order to fight for the protection of human life. https://t.co/PRAtF6EiSH— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 12, 2019
Editor's Note: In the interest of transparency, the author of this piece has a relative who works for Project Veritas.