UPDATE: Project Veritas shared a purported screenshot of an “‘Urgent Guidance’ document sent to employees on how to handle the [sic] Project Veritas.” The document shows YouTube removed the video because of something Project Veritas founder and CEO James O’Keefe said in his narration. “Our undercover journalist asked Walk how Pfizer is handling the fact that their COVID vaccines are ineffective against virus variants,” he said. It is still unclear why that statement would have violated YouTube’s revised COVID-19 medical misinformation policy.
Google-owned YouTube removed undercover journalism outlet Project Veritas’s latest undercover video on Pfizer and COVID-19. But the video doesn’t appear to have violated any policies.
Project Veritas released a video that allegedly showed Pfizer’s Director of Research and Development claiming the company is considering mutating COVID-19 to “preemptively develop new vaccines.” YouTube mysteriously removed the video citing its COVID-19 medical misinformation policy. The platform also suspended Project Veritas’s account for a week preventing the organization from uploading, posting or live-streaming content. YouTube, however, neglected to specify what part of the policy the Project Veritas video violated.
“Here we go again,” said MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider. “Just like Twitter and Facebook censored the New York Post Hunter Biden laptop story and Google erased the campaign websites of Republican senate candidates, YouTube has suspended Project Veritas’s account because YouTube doesn’t like what James O’Keefe discovered. YouTube does not want Americans to know what Project Veritas now knows.”
Screenshots indicate that YouTube told Project Veritas it removed the video “[t]o help keep the community safe,” but it’s unclear what would make the video “unsafe” for viewers. The platform’s medical misinformation policy includes a bullet point laundry list of 60 claims YouTube will remove if included in a video. But it’s unclear which, if any, of the bulleted items the Project Veritas video violated.
YouTube did not respond to MRC Free Speech America’s request for comment at the time of publishing.
BREAKING: @JamesOKeefeiii gives update on YouTube Removing Critical Mass #DirectedEvolution Video pic.twitter.com/R0Xog7zwmx
— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) January 28, 2023
This isn’t the first time Big Tech has censored Project Veritas. Just last week, YouTube’s parent company, Google buried the same video from search results. MRC Free Speech America analyzed Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo search results for “Pfizer Project Veritas.” Researchers found that Google buried Project Veritas’s website and its social media pages sharing the video on the first page of search results. But links to both the organization’s website and its Twitter post appeared in Bing’s and DuckDuckGo’s top four search results on page one.
Elon Musk restored the Project Veritas account and many accounts associated with the organization that Twitter’s prior pro-censorship regime had banned over the last two years. However, even Musk’s platform placed a sensitive content filter over Project Veritas’s recent video that YouTube removed.
Project Veritas has also had run-ins with Facebook over other COVID-19-related content. In September 2021 Facebook deleted a video showing U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services doctors and nurses discussing a lack of reporting on COVID-19 vaccine adverse reactions and side effects.
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