james o'keefe

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Project Veritas bleeds followers online in wake of James O’Keefe’s resignation

'James was the ONLY reason I followed you so I guess I will be following him somewhere else.'

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Posted on Feb 21, 2023   Updated on Feb 21, 2023, 9:43 am CST

Supporters of the right-wing journalism collective Project Veritas appear to be leaving in droves following the resignation of the group’s founder James O’Keefe.

Even the staff, according to reports, is threatening to walk out.

In a nearly 45-minute long video on Monday, O’Keefe announced that he would be stepping down following his suspension earlier this month over allegations of “outright cruel” behavior towards his staff.

“I have no job at Project Veritas, I have no position here based upon what the board has done—so I’m announcing to you all that today, on President’s Day, I’m packing up my personal belongings here,” O’Keefe said.

https://vimeo.com/800604525/fe482c1859

The suspension and ensuing resignation caused a significant backlash among the group’s supporters, who argue that Project Veritas cannot exist without O’Keefe.

Analysis by the Daily Dot shows that since the controversy began, Project Veritas’ social media platforms have seen a noticeable drop in followers.

On Feb. 8, according to the social media analytics platform SocialBlade, the group’s official Twitter account boasted roughly 1,491,141 followers. Yet as the news of O’Keefe’s suspension became known, the group’s account lost nearly 30,000 followers over the next three days.

Since O’Keefe’s resignation, Project Veritas’ Twitter followers have dropped by more than a quarter-million people in total, leaving their current follower count at around 1,228,814 and dropping.

In Body Image

Similar numbers can be seen across Project Veritas’ other social media accounts. The group’s YouTube account had approximately 1.61 million subscribers on Feb. 8. In the wake of the suspension and resignation, Project Veritas’ YouTube channel sits at 1.54 million subscribers.

The group’s Facebook channel during the same time period has lost about 10,000 followers, while its Instagram profile has lost nearly 51,000. Statistics weren’t readily available for right-wing platforms such as Truth Social and GETTR.

The anger at Project Veritas is also readily apparent in the comments on its numerous platforms. After the group published a link to its statement on the controversy, users bombarded the comments to express their outrage.

Project Veritas said it made numerous attempts to talk to O’Keefe but were ignored. The allegation did little to quell conservatives’ anger.

“It was nice knowing you,” one Twitter user wrote. “James was the ONLY reason I followed you so I guess I will be following him somewhere else.”

More prominent figures also weighed in, including former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who suggested that O’Keefe’s removal was somehow linked to the group’s recent reporting on Pfizer.

Allegations regarding O’Keefe’s behavior by employees is just one of the issue Project Veritas has faced in recent weeks.

The group is also being investigated by the FBI over how it obtained the diary of President Joe Biden’s daughter, Ashley Biden. Project Veritas is also being sued by a former employee over claims that O’Keefe ran a toxic workplace. O’Keefe has also been accused of spending company money inappropriately.

According to the Gateway Pundit, a number of staffers are planning on walking out today and demanding the entire board resign for their actions. Given the support online for O’Keefe and from current employees, it’s unclear whether Project Veritas can survive without its founder

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2023, 9:42 am CST