Pinterest has come under fire for declaring the pro-life website Live Action as "pornography." A whistleblower leaked internal documents to Project Veritas. The investigative journalist group, headed by James O'Keefe, released the first part of their story. At that time, Pinterest removed Live Action from their porn list but then quickly added it back to the banned porn list. The Pinterest whistleblower was eventually fired.
.@Pinterest Spox issues a non-denial denial: "… we have policies in place so that ads and recommendations don’t appear alongside certain terms.” Wont address why "Christian" won't auto-complete, why "bible verses" are "brand unsafe." More coming: https://t.co/bBiJt1hre5 pic.twitter.com/v5b1kivzS9— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 11, 2019
In 48 hours @Pinterest has:— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 11, 2019
- Removed @LiveAction from the porn domain block list
- Added them back on to the list
- Permanently BANNED their account
- Sent a statement to Veritas that neglects to refute our findings
- FIRED our Pinterest insider
PART 2 coming soon. #lifecensored pic.twitter.com/4rN0H9lcBM
On Wednesday, Project Veritas tweeted internal communications from Pinterest showing they labeled Ben Shapiro a "white supremacist." At that point Twitter suspended Project Veritas.
Breaking News: Twitter has decided that investigative journalism is in violation of their terms of service - @Project_Veritas has been temporarily suspended from posting for tweeting internal communications from @Pinterest which show them calling @benshapiro a "white supremacist" pic.twitter.com/eJNDWEfanf— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019
What does this mean for journalists around the world? For their sources in government, tech, education, etc? Is Twitter your newspaper's editor?— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019
A Twitter employee told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Project Veritas was suspended for publishing “other people’s private information.”
Project Veritas ended up deleting the tweet mentioning Shapiro but, according to the the group's inside source, Pinterest was suppressing content that mentioned Shapiro.
“LiveAction.org was actioned for misinformation related to conspiracies and anti-vaccination advice, and not porn,” Pinterest told the Daily Caller. “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.”
The group reminded people that they weren't "doxxing" anyone, but merely providing information the public has a right to know.
We tweeted a Slack message of a @Pinterest employee saying Ben Shapiro is a "white supremacist." Three days later "ben shapiro" terms were added to Pinterest's "Sensitive Terms List" for search manipulation/censorship. ie Newsworthy info. "Doxxing" is not even close to right. https://t.co/3KFtwXbknA— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) June 12, 2019
A GoFundMe was created for the whistleblower, software engineer Eric Cochran, whose name has now been released.
GO FUND ME: Our brave Pinterest insider, who was fired after he leaked documents that showed censorship of pro-life, christian content, has set up a page to help navigate the fallout. Support him and show future insiders the public appreciates courage! https://t.co/UoES6JBMh9— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 12, 2019