Social media giant Twitter is in the midst of a scandal following accusations of breaking privacy claims. Pro-Trump group Project Veritas released three videos in which Clay Haynes, a senior engineer at Twitter, is recorded without his consent in a bar making various statements about the company’s policy on disclosing sensitive tweets and DMs.
Speaking in what he thinks is a casual, possibly romantic meeting, he says Twitter has developed a machine learning algorithm that analyzes tweets and DMs, yet the video is selectively edited to fit Project Veritas’ story that actual employees monitor this information. Twitter is not the only social network to aggressively monitor its content to eliminate pornography, spam and deviant behavior.
“We do not proactively review DMs. Period. A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, and we enforce strict access protocols for those employees,” Twitter said.
What’s more, the man expresses a negative opinion about US President Donald Trump and said Twitter would voluntarily hand over the president’s deleted tweets and DMs to the US Department of Justice.
“We’re more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation,” Haynes says. “Giving them every single tweet that he’s posted, even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions.”
“The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter,” a company spokesperson said.
“Twitter only responds to valid legal requests and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request… Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules. We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative.”
Project Veritas is a controversial media group known for unethical investigations and fake news, trying in the past to convince the Washington Post to publish a fake story to lose credibility among readers.