In a chilling move that suggests Big Tech is coordinating to censor conservative voices, YouTube deleted a video produced by Project Veritas exposing alleged censorship of conservative and Christian content by Pinterest. Along with YouTube’s removal of the video, Pinterest put the whistleblower who provided the documents featured in the report on administrative leave and permanently banned pro-life group Live Action, which was listed on its “porn domain block list,” as shown in the video. Twitter also appears to have joined with the other platforms in targeting Project Veritas, hitting founder James O’Keefe for supposedly violating someone’s personal privacy through his journalistic investigation and blocking content involving Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro.
As The Daily Wire reported, Project Veritas released an exposé video on Pinterest featuring testimony from an employee of the company and internal documents he presented to O’Keefe indicating that the popular social media platform was quietly censoring some conservative content and voices. Among those that appear to have been targeted by the platform is Shapiro, who was censored in a “zero tolerance moment,” Live Action, links to which were blocked on the platform, and a video series exposing Planned Parenthood, which was included in a censor list as a “harmful” “conspiracy.”
Since the release of the report, Pinterest has placed the whistleblower, Eric Cochran, on administrative leave and permanently suspended Live Action’s account.
But it’s not only Pinterest who is cracking down on those involved in the exposé; on Wednesday, YouTube deleted Project Veritas’ video report, citing “privacy” violations and informing the organization that it could not show the name of the employee at Pinterest who placed Live Action on the block list or the documentation of that action.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Project Veritas said that while YouTube outline the content supposedly in violation in the video, the platform “does not give us any recourse by which to make the requested ‘blur’ since they’ve taken down the video.” Doing so would be “anathema to presenting information the public has a right to know,” the organization argues.
“The established media and technology are so afraid of investigative journalism they need to censor it,” O’Keefe tweeted Wednesday. “YouTube calls REPORTING on someone by showing their face and name, and how they added a pro-life group to a porn blacklist, a ‘privacy complaint.’ Would they do this to NYT?”
As reported by Town Hall, Twitter has also hit O’Keefe for the Pinterest exposé, specifically evidence that Shapiro was targeted by the platform, which was censored for exposing “other people’s private information,” according to a Twitter insider.
“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,'” O’Keefe tweeted Thursday. “What does this mean for journalists around the world? For their sources in government, tech, education, etc? Is Twitter your newspaper’s editor?”
In an interview with The Daily Wire Thursday, O’Keefe called the situation a “watershed moment” for both free speech and Big Tech. “I think that this is a watershed moment in the history of the First Amendment and Big Tech,” he said. “What we have seen here is one brave individual come forward, risking everything, in order to combat the collusion that we’re witnessing among these powerful companies. What Eric wants is for twelve more people in the industry who are likewise concerned about free speech and transparency to come forward. If they do, we will see real change.”
Pinterest has responded to some of the allegations presented in the YouTube-blocked video: “Religious content is allowed on Pinterest, and many people use our service to search for and save Pins inspired by their beliefs,” the company said in a statement to Project Veritas. “To protect our users from being targeted based on personal characteristics such as their religion, we have policies in place so that ads and recommendations don’t appear alongside certain terms.”