Social media platform Pinterest has responded to documentary evidence released by James O'Keefe's Project Veritas that it discriminates against "Christian" and pro-life subjects by banning Live Action, the very popular and influential pro-life organization that fights abortion misinformation with videos and expert analysis.
O'Keefe's video report, confirmed by whistleblower testimony and insider documentation, shows for example how the company prevents routine access to phrases like "Bible verses," instead auto-populating search bars with "Bible versus."
More egregiously, the report revealed that Pinterest had added Live Action to its "porn" list of blocked sites.
See the report:
Only a short time after the report appeared to reveal that Pinterest is anything but the neutral platform it claims to be, but rather is a publisher with a definite agenda, it slammed the Live Action organization another time.
"Your account was permanently suspended because its contents went against our policies on misinformation," it claimed. "We don't allow harmful misinformation on Pinterest. That includes medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment or violence."
Live Action explained: "@Pinterest has just permanently BANNED Live Action, claiming we are causing 'immediate and detrimental effects on Pinner's health or public safety.'"
— Live Action (@LiveAction) June 11, 2019
The American Life League, another prominent player in the American fight against the abortion industry, responded to Live Action that its own account previously was suspended when Pinterest claimed it was "spam."
The Twitter news aggregator Twitchy called out Pinterest for its "censorship."
And it posted O'Keefe's update: "Pinterest REACTS to investigative report that exposed they listed LiveAction as a porn site – banning LiveAction's account PERMANENTLY. Tweet @Pinterest and ask why they banned LiveAction. Are they a neutral platform or publisher with editorial agenda? Lines drawn."
Pinterest REACTS to investigative report that exposed they listed LiveAction as a porn site -- banning LiveAction's account PERMANENTLY. Tweet @Pinterest and ask why they banned LiveAction. Are they a neutral platform or publisher with editorial agenda? Lines drawn. #LifeCensored https://t.co/9xLqjzo0Wy
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) June 11, 2019
O'Keefe's report on Pinterest explained how the company refuses to allow basic auto-complete functions for its users, such as on the word "Christian."
Its report included product code, Slack messages and internal policies and terms revealed by a whistleblower.
"The documents we obtained raise questions about whether or not these tech companies really operate like neutral platforms, as opposed to publishers with editorial agendas," he stated.
Pinterest, based in San Francisco, apparently was just following the path established by Twitter, which also was caught by O'Keefe's organization "shadow-banning" conservatives. Facebook also has had leaked documents its own plans to target conservative thought.
The documentation obtained by Project Veritas regarding Live Action revealed it had been added to Pinterest's "porn" list, with employee Genet Girmay saying it should be left there.
Project Veritas reported: "The insider explained that the 'block list' was intended to be a collection of pornographic websites that Pinterest uses in order ensure that pornography cannot be posted. LiveAction.org is not a pornographic website, instead it is the web domain of a prominent pro-life advocacy group.
"The insider explained that websites on a 'domain block list' cannot be linked in posts made by users. While investigating, Project Veritas tried to post the LiveAction.org link on Pinterest and failed to do so, receiving an error message that read, 'Sorry! Your request could not be completed.'"
Other popular websites found on Pinterest's "porn" list, the report said, included zerohedge.com, pjmedia.com, teaparty.org and other various conservative websites.
Live Action founder Lila Rose said, "Pinterest says that their mission is to 'help empower people to discover things that they love,' but despite the fact that millions of people love babies and the pro-life cause, they are secretly censoring our life-affirming messages. Pinterest users deserve to know the truth and our messages deserve to be treated fairly."
Project Veritas reported the Live Action ban apparently was instituted by Megan McClellan, "who works on Pinterest's Trust and Safety Team."
Project Veritas also confirmed the whistleblower's documentation revealed "Bible verses" is on the company's "Sensitive Terms List," which restricts auto-complete functions.
"Another document Project Veritas received was a screenshot from an internal Slack channel at Pinterest, where Public Policy and Social Impact Manager Ifeoma Ozoma instructed others to monitor the platform for 'white supremacist' content from individuals like conservative commentators Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens. Three days after Ozoma’s message, the terms 'ben shapiro muslim' and 'ben shapiro islam' were added to the 'Sensitive Terms List,'" the report said.
The whistleblower also explained that Pinterest sometimes simply removes material – and doesn't even notify those who posted it.
Rose added, "By secretly applying the label of 'pornography' to Live Action’s pro-life content, Pinterest demonstrates a concerted effort to sideline a leading pro-life organization the only way they knew how. This does not appear to be a simple mistake. When confronted with an appeal, their employees doubled down and kept LiveAction.org on the pornography list. What exactly is Pinterest attempting to block? Inspirational messages to pregnant mothers, ultrasound images showing the science of prenatal development, medically accurate information on the abortion procedure, and images saying women deserve better than abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood.
"Pinterest has targeted Live Action, I believe, because our message is so effective at educating millions about the humanity of the preborn child and the injustice of abortion."