Twitter permanently banned Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe on Thursday, accusing the controversial right-wing personality of violating the social network’s spam and platform manipulation rules — but O’Keefe says he plans on suing Twitter in response.
O’Keefe’s suspension is permanent, a Twitter spokesperson told Forbes.
The spokesperson cited Twitter’s platform manipulation and spam rules, which prohibit users from running fake accounts and using multiple accounts to “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations,” though the company did not point to a specific infraction.
O’Keefe told Forbes in a statement he plans on suing Twitter for defamation next week, denying that he ever operated fake accounts.
“This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” O’Keefe said in a statement, which was sent through a Project Veritas spokesperson and posted to his Telegram account. “Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me.”
Project Veritas is known for carrying out hidden-camera stings on media outlets and left-wing groups, and it’s often accused of posting deceptive videos and spreading out-of-context claims (the group has denied these allegations). Most recently, the group released a string of videos targeting CNN: It leaked audio from months’ worth of CNN editorial meetings last year, and it posted videos of an apparent CNN staffer claiming the network deliberately tried to undermine former President Donald Trump and his allies.
Project Veritas was itself suspended from Twitter two months ago for violating the social network’s private information policy. O’Keefe was temporarily locked out of his account at the time, but he was later reinstated.
If O’Keefe follows through on suing Twitter, it won’t be his first defamation suit. Project Veritas is currently suing the New York Times for calling one of its reports “deceptive,” and he threatened to sue CNN for similar reasons this week.