Canceled feminist seeks to revive suit against Twitter, citing new evidence of collusion with feds
CDC official used personal accounts to report "misinformation" to Twitter portal for government, emails divulged in discovery in First Amendment case reveal.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- Freedom of Information Act litigation by America First Legal
- First Amendment litigation by Louisiana and Missouri attorneys general
- tweet on "[u]nconfirmed" reports
- Pfizer's own clinical trial protocol
- seeking Pfizer shareholders as potential litigants
- Largely unredacted emails
- Twitter permanently suspended Wolf the next month
- More-redacted emails
- does not identify the CDC as a client
The most prominent feminist critic of the government's COVID-19 policy is trying to resurrect her First Amendment lawsuit against Twitter, citing new evidence that the CDC named her in a request to remove "misinformation" before Twitter suspended her, making it a "state actor."
Lawyers for Naomi Wolf filed a "motion for indicative ruling" last month with the judge who dismissed the suit, originally filed by former President Trump, seeking its reinstatement even as their appeal remains pending at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
They filed declarations Aug. 26 citing documents divulged in July through Freedom of Information Act litigation by America First Legal and Sept. 8 citing discovery in First Amendment litigation by Louisiana and Missouri attorneys general that was published last week.
"These emails show that Twitter did not start censoring Dr. Wolf's tweets about the COVID-19 shots until officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Census Bureau asked it to" — information not available when the court dismissed the case, the motion says.
The documents show "how the executive branch of our federal government worked with Twitter to silence me for asking questions about the Covid-19 vaccines" and that the White House apparently started the "censorship project," Wolf told Just the News. "Nobody should be retaliated against for exercising her First Amendment rights."
Wolf got on the CDC's internal misinformation list with a tweet on "[u]nconfirmed" reports of women bleeding and clotting after COVID vaccination or exposure to vaccinated women.
Pfizer's own clinical trial protocol suggests its vaccine was theoretically transmissible through "environmental exposure." Pages 67 and 68 define "exposure during pregnancy" as a woman learning "she is pregnant after having been exposed to the study intervention by inhalation or skin contact," or a man who is exposed "prior to or around the time of conception."
Wolf's Daily Clout is now seeking Pfizer shareholders as potential litigants "in an action seeking access to books and records regarding the company's COVID-related business."
Largely unredacted emails obtained by AFL show CDC media branch director Carol Crawford gave Twitter a list of "example posts" on "vaccine shedding" May 10, 2021 that included Wolf's. The tweet was blocked soon after, and Twitter permanently suspended Wolf the next month.
More redacted emails obtained through the AGs' lawsuit flesh out that email chain, which also included a Census Bureau official and government PR firm Reingold, which does not identify the CDC as a client.
Twitter suggested Crawford enroll in its "Partner Support Portal" to submit misinformation reports for "special, expedited reporting flow," which "worked very well with Census colleagues last year."
A redacted CDC official, likely Crawford, asked to use a personal rather than agency Twitter account to send misinformation reports. "Does it need to be the CDC account or my personal?" the official wrote. "If CDC, I'm going to have someone on staff enroll instead of me."
"Your account works fine," a Twitter staffer responded. "I'll proceed with processing your enrollment.
Reingold contacted Twitter two weeks later. "Does the Twitter account need to be connected to a cdc.gov email or is any account fine?" a staffer from the firm wrote. "Also, would there be any issues or complications stemming from flagging COVID misinformation on the portal using the existing census.gov accounts that have access? We'II want to have at least some CDC accounts whitelisted, but that backup may be helpful in the short term."
A Twitter staffer responded the same day: "I had a sidebar and I requested her account be enrolled." The CDC official went back to Twitter several days later for help filing reports.
Wolf's new filings pointed to more emails from the AGs' discovery that show Twitter and the CDC "setting up regular chats" so the agency can give the company "examples of problematic content" to remove.
The CDC quickly identified four subjects that it credited to the Census Bureau: "Vaccines aren't FDA approved," referring to their emergency use authorization; "fraudulent cures"; Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System data "taken out of context"; and vaccine-related infertility. Twitter responded it was "labeling or removing" such tweets.
Another email shows named White House officials setting up a "Twitter Vaccine Misinfo Briefing" to cover misinformation trends, "the tangible effects seen from recent policy changes, what interventions are currently being implemented" and how the White House and its COVID experts "can partner in productive work."
Other redacted documents from discovery show meetings between technology companies, not just Twitter, and executive branch officials to discuss information the latter wanted taken down, the Sept. 8 declaration says.
The CDC didn't respond to queries on why an official would use a personal account for official business with Twitter and the legality of the arrangement, which could implicate FOIA obligations. Reingold didn't respond to queries about the nature of its work with the CDC and Census Bureau.
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