Twitter suspends pro-Trump activist group for privacy violations

AFP , Friday 12 Feb 2021

The group had over 700,000 followers on Twitter at the time of its suspension

Twitter logo (File photo AFP)
Twitter logo (File photo AFP)

A conservative activist group notorious for its use of undercover footage and publicity stunts was permanently suspended from Twitter on Thursday, after the group reportedly violated the platform's policies on sharing private information.

Project Veritas, a brash team of right-wing activists which has long been one of former US President Donald Trump's most fervent backers, was banned for "repeated violations of the companies anti-doxxing policies", the group's founder James O'Keefe said in a tweet.

The suspension came a day after the group posted a video in which its journalists confronted Guy Rosen, Facebook's head of integrity and security, outside his home.

In a statement shared to multiple US outlets, Twitter said the group had been "permanently suspended for repeated violations of Twitter's private information policy", but did not specify which tweets had broken those rules.

The group had over 700,000 followers on Twitter at the time of its suspension.

O'Keefe's account was also removed from the platform, though it returned after only a few hours.

Project Veritas and O'Keefe came to prominence for their provocative sting efforts aimed at exposing "corruption" among progressive activists or liberal elected officials.

The group has also spread unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the United States -- claims repeated by president Trump last year in the wake of his election loss to Joe Biden.

Those claims ultimately led to a riot at the US capitol and Trump's permanent banning from Twitter, as well as an unprecedented second impeachment of the outgoing head of state.

In the wake of the January 6 unrest, Twitter has stepped up efforts to crack down on disinformation -- prompting outrage and accusations of censorship from prominent figures on the American right.

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