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The Biden administration worked with Twitter to both “elevate” and “suppress” users based on their stance in the COVID debate, according to the newest installment of the Twitter Files.
In a lengthy thread published Monday, reporter David Zweig showed how the social media giant “rigged the COVID debate” at the request of the federal government.
There’s a lot of info in that thread, so we’ll hit some of the highlights.
The coercion campaign actually started with the Trump administration.
The former president’s team solicited the help of big tech to help control panic buying and “runs on grocery stores” at the start of the pandemic. If you tried to buy toilet paper in 2020, though, you know that effort was less than successful.
But the control became more blatant under the Biden administration. It focused not only on the dissemination of information but also the flat-out removal of “anti-vaxxers” from the platform.
Zweig specifically cited an instance in June 2021 when Biden raged about social media platforms “killing people”by allowing COVID misinformation. Shortly thereafter, Twitter suspended and ultimately banned New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.
“It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine,” Berenson had tweeted. “Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”
Physicians and scientists were banned.
As early as this month, Zweig wrote, Twitter’s head of U.S. public policy Lauren Culbertson had detailed the White House’s pressure campaign.
“Twitter did suppress views — many from doctors and scientific experts— that conflicted with the official positions of the White House,” Zweig wrote. “As a result, legitimate findings and questions that would have expanded the public debate went missing.”
Zweig mentioned Dr. Martin Kulldorff, who tweeted that vaccines are not necessary for children or for people who have already been infected with the virus. Internal emails said Kulldorff violated Twitter’s Covid-19 misinformation policy.
Twitter permanently banned another doctor, Andrew Bostom, after he tweeted the results of negative studies about the vaccines and highlighted data that coronavirus was less dangerous in children than the flu. Zweig said this information was “legitimate but inconvenient to the public health establishment’s narrative.”
Thus, medical doctors and physicians were stifled from reporting actual scientific findings and labeled dangerous conspiracy theorists.
The Long-Term Effect
So much of what was considered “misinformation” two years ago — like the fact that the vaccine doesn’t stop transmission — is actually common knowledge now.
So this begs the question: How much damage was ultimately done by rigging the COVID conversation? And will the censors ever be held accountable?
Remember when all of us who were skeptical about the vaccine were fired, belittled, shunned from public life and labeled dangerous grandma killers?
Turns out maybe we weren’t so dangerous after all. We already knew that — but it’s wild to see the receipts.