Twitter has issued a response to remarks purportedly made by a senior network security engineer on a hidden camera video filmed by muckraker James O’Keefe and his controversial Project Veritas group.
The engineer, who describes himself as a “bleeding-heart liberal” and characterizes U.S. President Donald Trump as “a terrible human being,” apparently says in the edited footage that the social media network would gladly submit every Trump tweet, active or deleted, as well as all direct messages, to the U.S. Department of Justice in accordance with the agency’s investigation. Presumably he is referring to the Russia collusion probe by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team.
Perhaps more concerning for ordinary users in the context of privacy, the individual also seems to boast that Twitter engineers can access everyone’s account, including their passwords, and also can obtain all direct messages and deleted tweets. He described the extent of this reach as “terrifying.”
The engineer allegedly made these statements to a Project Veritas undercover journalist as well as James O’Keefe himself, who was wearing a disguise, while interacting with the engineer at a restaurant. In the footage, he neither confirmed nor denied that there was an active subpoena for Trump’s Twitter material, however.
In response to the video, Twitter released a statement, the International Business Times reported, in which the tech firm blasted Project Veritas for “deceptive and underhanded tactics” as well as selective editing. It also underscored a commitment to enforce its terms of service in a bias-free manner. Insofar as the employee’s comments, Twitter distanced itself.
“The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter. Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.”
The engineer also confirmed that Twitter has no plans to suspend President Trump’s account because it is considered newsworthy.
This video is the latest installment of the Project Veritas series called “American Pravda” in which the conservative group attempts to expose what it considers liberal bias at various media organizations. You may recall that the Washington Post recently thwarted one of O’Keefe’s stings in which an operative pretended to be a Roy Moore accuser.
O’Keefe says that he plans to upload another video Thursday about alleged Twitter censorship of conservatives. Twitter has been accused of shadow banning users or throttling tweets or hashtags for political reasons. It has also faced accusations of selective enforcement of rules against hate speech.
Sneak Peek: Tomorrow’s video features many Twitter engineers and executives on hidden camera talking about “shadow banning” and creating algorithms which censor certain ideas. If I get banned from Twitter tomorrow our website will have the vids. https://t.co/cG2CgT4J3Q 9am launch pic.twitter.com/Gi7glqYcqK
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 11, 2018
Earlier this week in Silicon Valley, ex-Google software engineer James Damore — the author of the diversity memo that made national headlines — sued his former employer for workplace discrimination, alleging, in part, that the tech company bullies those workers who don’t subscribe to its progressive, social justice agenda.
Watch the latest Project Veritas video below and draw your own conclusions.