Yesterday insider leaks from Project Veritas, an organization that exposes corruption inside public and private institutions, revealed that the visual search engine Pinterest is suppressing Christian themed keywords in search and blocking content from various sites that uphold Christian and conservative values. In the wake of these leaks, Twitter and Pinterest have censored two accounts that were at the center of these revelations and also fired the employee who leaked the information to Project Veritas.
First, Pinterest banned Live Action, a pro-life advocacy group, shortly after the Project Veritas leaks were published. The leaks from Project Veritas showed that Live Action and other sites are on an internal Pinterest blocklist which prevents Pinterest users from linking to their site.
— Live Action (@LiveAction) June 11, 2019
Pinterest claims that Live Action’s account was closed for going against its policies on “misinformation” but has provided no specific examples of this supposed “misinformation.”
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Shortly after Live Action’s Pinterest account was shut down, Project Veritas reported that the employee who provided the leaked Pinterest documents had also been fired.
Then James O’Keefe, the head of Project Veritas, announced that the Project Veritas Twitter account had been placed in a limited state and prevented from tweeting or retweeting content to its followers for 12 hours.
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
Twitter claims that the Project Veritas account has been limited because one of the tweets reporting on the leaked Pinterest documents violated Twitter’s rules around posting private information. The tweet links to the Project Veritas report which contains leaked internal Pinterest conversations from the business collaboration tool Slack.
Censoring leaks like these is problematic because they’re often an integral part of investigative journalism and applying this standard consistently would prohibit linking to many other investigative reports. Twitter also doesn’t enforce this rule consistently and has allowed users to link to many other reports containing private information. For example, Twitter took no action against The Daily Beast when it tweeted out a link to a recent article which doxed a private citizen.
Despite this big tech censorship, both Project Veritas and supporters of Live Action are continuing to campaign against the efforts to shut their voices down. Project Veritas says it will be releasing a second report on Pinterest in the coming days and Live Action supporters are protesting at Pinterest headquarters today.