By Eva Bartlett*
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – (Opinion) It’s one thing to have policies against violence, abuse, and harassment. But in “protecting” users, Twitter is hell-bent on censoring voices that rock the boat, even when all they have tweeted is a peer-reviewed scientific paper.
Last week, Simon Goddek, who has a Ph.D. in biotechnology and researches system dynamics, tweeted a link to a scientific study titled, “Is a Mask That Covers the Mouth and Nose Free from Undesirable Side Effects in Everyday Use and Free of Potential Hazards?”
Some time later, his account was frozen and he received a notice from Twitter that it would remain frozen until he deleted the offending tweet, and for the 12 hours following that.
In his Telegram channel, he wrote:
“I was put into Twitter jail for citing a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Cancel science is real.
“What’s especially concerning is that I didn’t make any personal comment on the paper’s content. I only said that regarding that paper, masks CAN lead to massive health damages. It’s the conclusion of a scientific piece of work that has been peer-reviewed by at least 2 experts in the field.”
According to Twitter, Goddek violated their policy on, “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19.”
The article in question wasn’t even as risqué as others and merely addressed undesirable side effects of mask-wearing. How is that “misinformation”?
I spoke with Goddek to learn more about what happened. Turns out, it’s not the first time.
“The first time I got censored because I cited a scientific, peer-reviewed paper on masks. I was just citing their work, and I got put into Twitter jail. In that tweet, I was saying, ‘Look, it seems masks don’t work.’ So, I also said my opinion.
“This time, I found another study on masks, which says there are adverse effects if you wear masks. So, I was citing the paper without putting my own opinion, and they censored me again, made me delete it, and put me into Twitter jail again.”
On April 17, Dr. Naomi Wolf tweeted she had been locked out of Twitter for the fourth time for sharing a Stanford study, “proving the lack of efficacy of masks.” That study was also peer-reviewed.
This isn’t merely a case of Twitter deciding that Goddek and Wolf were not in the position to be discussing the efficacy or dangers of masks. Twitter is censoring pretty much anything about Covid that doesn’t match the narrative promoted by the WHO, CDC, and other such bodies.
Even a well-known epidemiologist has faced Twitter’s wrath. An article in the American Institute for Economic Research noted:
“Harvard Professor Martin Kulldorff and co-creator of the Great Barrington Declaration, one of the most cited epidemiologists and infectious disease experts in the world has been censored by Twitter. His tweet on how not everyone needs a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 was not taken down. He had a warning slapped on it and users have been prevented from liking or retweeting the post.”
That article also emphasized: “Dr. Kulldorff serves on the Covid-19 vaccine safety subgroup that the CDC, NIH, and FDA rely upon for technical expertise on this very subject.”
On April 10, a group called Drs4CovidEthics tweeted:
“Not a month on Twitter & we were locked out of our account, forced to delete our pinned tweet. We must self-censor or be banned says Twitter (paraphrasing) We mustn’t contradict official sources. But our letters contradict official sources. With good reason. Which we can’t tweet.”
What do they know better than Twitter censors? They’re merely “doctors & scientists from 25+ countries, including heads of ICU, world-leading immunologists, experts in public health, drug safety, respiratory illness, GPs, researchers in vaccines, pharmacology, virology, biochemistry…”
I searched for more examples of extreme Twitter censorship and found further censorship of vaccine-related information, and one person’s hypothesis on why vaccine talk is so particularly taboo: “$157 billion buys a lot of Facebook and Twitter bans.”
The popular independent website Off Guardian recently was locked out of Twitter for sharing one of its own articles on Covid vaccines, they told me.
In fact, Twitter has been censoring Off Guardian for at least a year. When users try to open a tweet to an Off Guardian article, they are met with a warning that the link could be potentially spammy or unsafe.
The warning continues with a large blue button advising to return to the previous page, and a teeny tiny “continue” on to the article option. Same thing for the independent Canadian website Global Research.
Last year, I tried to tweet an article written by respected journalist F. William Engdahl for New Eastern Outlook (NEO). Twitter wouldn’t allow me to even tweet it, instead giving me an error message about the link being “potentially harmful.”
And it’s not only matters of Covid. Just now, I tried to tweet another NEO article, not related to Covid, and was again met with the same message.
A Twitter account focusing on the propaganda around Xinjiang had his account suspended.
And when the New York Post wrote exposés about Hunter Biden’s emails, Twitter locked the Post’s account.
Which makes it all the more clear this isn’t about “facts” or “safety” but blatant censorship.
Whether or not you agree with a point or comment being made by one of the people censored by Twitter, we should be allowed to access their perspective, research for ourselves, and come to our own conclusions.
We don’t need Twitter to hold our hands and spoon-feed us establishment narratives.
Twitter’s “rules” page reads:
“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. Our rules are to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation freely and safely.”
If you believe that, as the saying goes, I have a bridge to sell you.
*Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). The writer is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.
See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza. She tweets from @EvaKBartlett.
This article was first published on RT News.