the bongino report

How Federal Censorship Defeated Science During the Pandemic

Twitter was better positioned than any other online platform to provide insight and discovery in the chaotic early months of the COVID-19 epidemic. The world was trying to figure out what to do with the rapidly spreading disease. Commentators and investigators all over the globe were turning towards Twitter’s live public forum to share their thoughts and speculate. 

However, Twitter monitors ended up reading the situation differently.

A pervasive fear of the unknown drives you. “misinformation” Twitter launched a massive censorship campaign in response to government pressure. They suppressed entire narratives during the critical first year of the pandemic. 

David Zweig, a journalist who has been covering the effort in detail this week, was the most open to seeing the extent of it. another entry in the ongoing “Twitter files” expose revealed “how Twitter rigged the COVID debate.”

Zweig claimed that the social media company achieved this feat. “by censoring info that was true but inconvenient to U.S. govt. policy,” “by discrediting doctors and other experts who disagreed” And “by suppressing ordinary users, including some sharing the CDC’s *own data*.”

Zweig stated that the federal government exerted considerable pressure to restrict speech about COVID, citing internal Twitter files. “[B]oth the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes,” He wrote. 

The Trump administration asked Twitter for help in counteracting the terrorist attacks. “runs on grocery stores,” A brief, but intense period of high tension occurred early in the pandemic. This was when shoppers ran to get supplies amid fears about shortages. 

The censorship grew when the Biden administration came into power. For example, the Biden White House targeted specifically what was known as “anti-vaxxer accounts,” Alex Berenson, an ex-New York Times investigative reporter, is a long-standing and vocal COVID critic. 

Berenson was a passionate and early dissenter from COVID orthodoxy. His criticisms of lockdowns, mask mandates and social distancing policy, as well other intrusive pandemic interventions, were fierce. In the summer 2021, Berenson was removed from Twitter after Biden publicly criticised social media companies’ ability to allow people to express alternative views on vaccines.

The company did more than this, at times censoring highly qualified experts. Martin Kulldorff was a Harvard Medical School faculty member at the time. Kulldorff claimed that individuals and children with disabilities should be protected in March 2021. “prior natural infection” COVID-19 was not required to be vaccinated. 

These assertions are supported by strong scientific evidence. Numerous studies have demonstrated that natural COVID immunity is just as strong as vaccine-acquired immunity. However, children make up a tiny fraction of all COVID-19 deaths. Zweig pointed out that Twitter moderators locked Kulldorff’s accounts and then retweeted the tweet with the following: “misleading” It can be used to label users and prevent them from sharing it. 

Kulldorff told the Epoch Times this week That he was “not surprised” At seeing his name in Twitter censorship files. He said that the COVID discussion, especially about vaccines, had become ideologically homogenized. 

“I think for many people, they only heard one voice,” he said. “When they heard different voices, [those voices] They were dismissed as cranks. But that’s not how medicine or science works.”

Just three weeks after Elon Musk purchased Twitter, Kulldorff said that he already noticed a difference in the treatment of his account.

In the period from February 2022 to late 2021, he was gaining between 200 and 300 new followers per tweet. But he stopped. “something changed” Each new tweet attracted 50-100 followers. “Now In November it is back at around 300 new followers per tweet,” He wrote it in an email. 

Kulldorff said that the following had not changed: “large number” Accounts impersonating his unique full-name. “There are only 18 people in the world with the last name Kulldorff … But on Twitter, Kulldorff is a very popular name including some accounts with rather disturbing sexual content.”

Twitter sometimes flagged or censored tweets that were not from official sources. Zweig mentioned that a prominent Twitter user was censored for sharing a tweet regarding COVID mortality rates, which used data from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another case involved a Rhode Island doctor. “permanently suspended from Twitter” Partially for sharing “the results from a peer reviewed study on mRNA vaccines.”

Musk’s ownership of COVID has resulted in a decrease in COVID censorship, particularly since studies on COVID-19 death, masking, and vaccine efficacy are more common. The company has stopped applying COVID-19. “misinformation” policy last month.

Kulldorff, in an interview with The Times, speculated that Twitter’s censorship campaign may have been motivated not only by government pressure and internal moderators but also by scientists seeking to suppress alternative COVID views. 

“Were other scientists involved in urging Twitter to censor their fellow scientists who had a different opinion?” He asked. “And if so, to what extent, and who were those scientists?”


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