Aug 16, 2022

White House Wanted Former NYT Journalist Booted Off Twitter

White House officials asked Twitter “why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform” for COVID-19 misinformation.
White House Wanted Former NYT Journalist Booted Off Twitter

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Writer Alex Berenson sued Twitter after they banned his account over COVID-19 “misinformation.” Internal chat logs show that the White House was behind it.

Who? Alex Berenson is an author and former New York Times journalist who became an outspoken critic of mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine mandates. After being permanently suspended from Twitter, Berenson sued the social media platform and eventually had his account reinstated. Items obtained through the lawsuit now show the cause of the censorship.

The Biden administration wanted him banned: White House officials met with Twitter in April 2021 and asked “why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform,” according to messages from the company’s online chat room. They targeted him as the No.1 disinformation threat.

Twitter was initially reluctant: An employee noted that Berenson's tweets weren’t “violative” of the platform’s terms of service. By August, however, they had changed course and suspended Berenson’s account enough times to make a permanent ban possible.

Big picture: The U.S. government’s pandemic response has revealed its heavy influence over Big Tech. Given that the CDC also worked closely with Twitter, Facebook, and Google against vaccine “misinformation,” the White House’s actions aren’t surprising.

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