James O’Keefe, the head of investigative reporting group Project Veritas, was locked out of his Twitter account after a private copyright claim was filed on one of his old tweets from January 13, 2020.
O’Keefe has over 759,000 Twitter followers and has recently been using his account to promote Project Veritas’ undercover investigation into election ballot harvesting. His recent tweets about the investigation have been generating thousands of engagements.
But after this private copyright claim, O’Keefe was temporarily locked out of his Twitter account and unable to tweet.
Due to the copyright claim being private, it’s unclear who filed it and O’Keefe noted that Twitter didn’t point to the tweet in question.
Ironically, Twitter still suggested that O’Keefe could seek a retraction from the original reporter to resolve the issue, despite the original reporter being unknown because the copyright claim was private.
While Twitter didn’t provide the details of the tweet to O’Keefe, a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice on the Lumen database contains a link to a now-deleted tweet (archive) January 13 tweet teasing a previous Project Veritas’ undercover investigation that featured Bernie Sanders campaign field organizer Kyle Jurek calling for violence and gulags.
O’Keefe’s Twitter timeline from January 13 and 14 also shows that the removed tweet was one of his last tweets before the publication of the investigation.
This is the latest of several incidents where old tweets from O’Keefe, Project Veritas, or high profile users have been flagged while they’re promoting a current Project Veritas investigation or attempting to recruit staff via Twitter.
Last year, pro-Trump meme artist Carpe Donktum was hit with a copyright claim on a video that he’d uploaded almost two years moments after tweeting out a video of Project Veritas’ investigation into anti-Trump bias at CNN. As a result of the claim, Carpe Donktum was locked out of his account and temporarily prevented from tweeting.
Twitter also banned Project Veritas’ ads account last year over an almost two-year-old video that exposed Twitter’s shadowbanning practices. At the time, Project Veritas was running Twitter ads to recruit undercover journalists and O’Keefe accused the platform of attempting to stop people from applying to work at his company.