NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – Mr James O’Keefe, the right-wing provocateur whose group, Project Veritas, has come under fire for undercover sting operations against media organisations and liberal groups, sued Twitter Inc. for defamation for banning him from the social media platform.
Mr O’Keefe sued Twitter on Monday (April 19) in state court in Westchester County, New York, where his group does business, claiming the social media company falsely banned him for operating fake accounts.
“After suspending Mr. O’Keefe’s personal Twitter account on April 15, Twitter, through an unnamed spokesperson, disseminated to media outlets the provably false statement that Mr. O’Keefe was ‘operating fake (Twitter) accounts’,” he said in a complaint, calling the statement “false and defamatory.”
The American claimed Twitter subjected him to “hatred, contempt, and ridicule” and claimed the allegedly false statements “tend to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill, or confidence in which Mr. O’Keefe is held”.
Mr O’Keefe is seeking unspecified damages and a court order barring Twitter from making false statements about him.
Twitter declined to comment on Tuesday.
Project Veritas has been criticised for making deceptively-edited secret recordings to try to discredit groups and companies including Planned Parenthood, CNN and the Washington Post.