Latest ‘Twitter Files’ alleges rigged COVID debate

Politics

(NewsNation) — The tenth installment of the “Twitter Files” document dumps contains information alleging that the U.S. government was involved in COVID-19 content moderation on the social media service.

The documents are part of Twitter owner Elon Musk’s effort to document how the company was run before he took over.

Journalist David Zweig, who posted the new Twitter thread, accused the U.S. government under both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden of pressuring Twitter to elevate specific information about the coronavirus and suppress other content.

Zweig described how Trump’s team remained concerned about panic buying during the onset of the pandemic and how they approached Twitter looking for “help from the tech companies to combat misinformation” about “runs on grocery stores.”

But there were runs on grocery stores, Zweig said.

He argued that pressure continued to grow from the White House under the Biden administration and it allegedly tried to influence the platform to stop misinformation about the vaccine.

“With COVID, this bias bent heavily toward establishment dogmas,” Zweig tweeted.

Due to the alleged growing pressure, Zweig said Twitter used bots and overseas contractors to monitor content, believing this led to legitimate data being labeled as misinformation and other accounts being suspended for posting data or opinions that went against the government’s own narrative.

Zweig used a Harvard Medical School epidemiologist as an example, saying that Dr. Martin Kulldorff’s tweet containing his “expert opinion” on vaccines was allegedly at odds with U.S. public health authorities and led to his tweet being labeled as “Misleading” by Twitter. In response, all replies and likes for the post were shut off by the social media giant.

“But Kulldorff’s statement was an expert’s opinion—one which also happened to be in line with vaccine policies in numerous other countries. Yet it was deemed ‘false information’ by Twitter moderators merely because it differed from CDC guidelines,” Zweig tweeted.

Toward the end of the thread, Zweig alleged tweets that differed from the government’s view were subject to moderation.

“Information that challenged that view, such as showing harms of vaccines, or that could be perceived as downplaying the risks of COVID, especially to children, was subject to moderation, and even suppression. No matter whether such views were correct or adopted abroad,” Zweig tweeted.

He concluded the thread by questioning what it would have looked like if there was a more open debate on Twitter and other social media sites, possibly leading to a much different response to COVID-19, lockdowns and the risk to people and children.

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