By Katabella Roberts
“Thank you @ElonMusk for reinstating the Project Veritas Twitter account and for standing up for real investigative journalism,” the watchdog wrote in a post on the platform on Nov. 21.
Project Veritas, headed by James O’Keefe since 2011, “investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society,” according to its website.
“As a legally recognized and fully-reporting enterprise, Project Veritas is the most effective non-profit on the national scene, period,” the website adds.
Twitter suspended Project Veritas’s account in February 2021 after O’Keefe shared a video of Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen regarding the social media website’s policies.
In the video, Rosen admitted during an internal Facebook meeting that the tech giant has a system “that is able to freeze commenting on threads in cases where our systems are detecting that there may be a thread that has hate speech or violence.”
“These are all things we’ve built over the past three, four years as part of our investments into the integrity space, our efforts to protect the election,” the Facebook vice president added.
FBI Launches Raids
Later in 2021, FBI agents raided the homes of O’Keefe and two other Project Veritas employees amid an investigation centered on the alleged theft of a diary belonging to Ashley Biden, President Joe Biden’s daughter.
Project Veritas, which has been fighting a legal battle against the search warrants, said it was handed the diary but that it could not verify its authenticity and ultimately decided against publishing its contents.
At the time, prosecutors declared that Project Veritas “is not engaged in journalism within any traditional or accepted definition of that word.” However, it was later revealed that the FBI had deemed the watchdog a news media outlet when it opened its investigation in October 2020.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has initiated a string of changes to Twitter since finalizing his $44 billion deal to purchase the social media site in October.
On Saturday, the billionaire businessman reinstated former U.S. President Donald Trump’s account nearly two years after he was banned from the site, although the president is yet to post anything and has previously said he has no plans to return to Twitter, preferring his own social media platform Truth Social.
The move came after Musk polled Twitter users on the matter for 24 hours. Results showed that 51.8 percent of users wanted Trump’s account to be reinstated, while 48.2 percent wanted the former president to remain banned.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk said in a post shortly after the poll closed, adding the Latin phrase “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” which translates to “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.