James O’Keefe is a conservative activist who has made a name for himself with hidden camera investigations of supposedly liberal organizations. This week, he turned his attention to Twitter, publishing a series of secretly recorded videos of Twitter employees (and former employees) discussing Twitter’s content moderation policies and political culture.
O’Keefe claims to have uncovered smoking-gun evidence of a far-reaching conspiracy to suppress conservative speech on the Twitter platform. Conservative media outlets have taken that frame and run with it.
But there’s a lot less to the two videos Project Veritas released this week than meets the eye. For example, O’Keefe has repeatedly highlighted Twitter engineer Steven Pierre’s comment that Twitter was working on software to “ban a way of talking.” The strong implication is that the “way of talking” Pierre wants to ban is conservative political speech. But if you actually watch the full video, that’s clearly not what Pierre meant.