New ‘Twitter Files’ Show Company Suppressed COVID Information From Doctors and Experts

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Twitter appeared to succumb to pressure from federal officials to moderate content around COVID-19, including blocking a post by a former Harvard scientist who offered critical feedback against COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, according to the latest installment of the Elon Musk-endorsed “The Twitter Files” posted on the morning of Dec. 26.

Internal emails published by journalist David Zweig show that there were “countless instances” of Twitter posts being taken down or labeled as “misleading” because they differed from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines or “establishment views” around COVID-19 or vaccines.

In one instance, according to internal emails, a Twitter moderator flagged a post from former Harvard School of Medicine professor Martin Kulldorff because it violated the the social media firm’s COVID-19 misinformation policy and asserted that he was posting “false information.” Twitter took action by labeling his post as “misleading” and turning off all likes and replies, which prevented the post from being shared more widely.

Rhode Island-based physician Andrew Bostom was also targeted by Twitter for permanent suspension after receiving several strikes for violating the social media firm’s terms of service around COVID-19. A screenshot of the company’s internal log files showed that only one out of five violations were valid; an internal audit was conducted only after Bostom’s attorney contacted Twitter.

“One Bostom tweet found to still be in violation [of] cited data that was legitimate but inconvenient to the public health establishment’s narrative about the risks of flu versus Covid in children,” Zweig wrote. “That this tweet was not only flagged by a bot, but its violation manually affirmed by a staff member is telling of both the algorithmic and human bias at play. Bostom’s account was suspended for months and was finally restored on Christmas Day.

“The United States government pressured Twitter and other social media platforms to elevate certain content and suppress other content about COVID-19.”

Zweig also noted that when the current administration took over in 2021, “one of their first meeting requests with Twitter executives was on COVID.” The focus, namely, was regarding “anti-vaxxer accounts,” internal emails show.

By Jack Phillips

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