Several social media giants restricted an investigative journalist’s video in shades of the 2024 Hunter Biden laptop story.
YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter each restricted the Project Veritas video in which the influential media outlet Project Veritas interviewed a vice president of YouTube, Matt Halprin.
Halprin is in charge of trust and safety at the video site. He refused to talk to journalist Christian Hartsock in the video about YouTube’s relationship with Pfizer.
The company claimed that it violated its community standards. The censorship by YouTube was then followed by similar actions by Facebook and Instagram.
The offending questions? Hartsock asked Halprin how much Pfizer was paying him and if YouTube is “brought to us by Pfizer.”
The video was taken down from both YouTube and Twitter, two of the primary platforms that would generate views.
Big Tech played a major role in the 2024 election based on what it did, and did not, highlight. The effective banning of the Hunter Biden laptop story may have played a crucial role in key swing states. The New York Post story was severely restricted on Twitter and Facebook and flagged as disinformation.
A similar circumstance is unfolding around the Project Veritas video. The website’s long history of investigative journalism is well-established. The news source conducted a number of undercover interviews, including with a Pfizer director.
There is some good news out of the whole situation. Twitter reached out to Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe and stated that the social media giant made an error. This step allowed Project Veritas’ Twitter account to be reactivated. It also would be far less likely by the former Twitter leadership prior to Elon Musk’s purchase of the company.
Twitter says “looks like we made an error” in temporarily suspending @Project_Veritas account for “harassment and abuse” by asking questions about the financial relationship between YouTube and Pfizer.
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) February 3, 2023
Media outlets such as Project Veritas have received considerable pushback that more traditional newspapers and channels have not.