SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After initially threatening to sue Twitter over his permanent ban on April 15, Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe followed through on his threat by filing a lawsuit on Monday, alleging the social media platform made “false and defamatory” claims against him.
O’Keefe was banned for violations of “manipulation and spam,” according to a Twitter spokesperson.
“The account you referenced (@JamesOKeefeIII) was permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” the spokesperson said. “As outlined in our policy on platform manipulation and spam, ‘You can’t mislead others on Twitter by operating fake accounts,’ and ‘you can’t artificially amplify or disrupt conversations through the use of multiple accounts.’”
The basis for O’Keefe’s lawsuit, according to a statement put out by Project Veritas, is that Twitter has defamed him by accusing him of operating fake accounts.
“I am suing Twitter for defamation because they said I, James O’Keefe, ‘operated fake accounts,'” O’Keefe said in a statement. “This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay. Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me. The complaint will be filed Monday.”
The full complaint filed by O’Keefe can be found here.
The timing of the ban comes after Project Veritas had released undercover “sting” video interviews featuring CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester, who is seen on-camera claiming that the news network actively worked against the potential re-election of former President Donald Trump in favor of Joe Biden. O’Keefe contends that his Twitter ban is actually retaliation for Veritas’ CNN exposé.
“Despite these efforts to silence the truth, Project Veritas will continue to seek remedy in the courts where the rule of law has final say,” the lawsuit announcement said.
Project Veritas also has a previously-filed defamation lawsuit in the works against The New York Times.