Twitter censored accurate COVID information that conflicted with federal sentiments, new files show

Both the Biden and the Trump administrations worked with Twitter during the COVID pandemic, suppressing contrarian advice from doctors, the latest installment of the Twitter Files shows.

Published: December 26, 2022 11:42am

Updated: December 26, 2022 12:17pm

Twitter altered the COVID conversation by censoring information that was true but not in line with U.S. government policy, discrediting public health experts who disagreed and suppressing contrarian users, the latest installment of the "Twitter Files" showed Monday.

"[B]oth the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s pandemic content according to their wishes," reporter David Zweig said in the 10th Twitter Files release. 

Previous Twitter Files have focused Twitter's close relationship with the FBI and other government agencies as well as the platform's censorship, but the latest information shows the Trump White House attempted to work with major technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, to control conversation during the COVID pandemic.

When President Joe Biden came in, the White House began focusing on "anti-vaxxer accounts" during meetings with Twitter, Zweig reported. The Biden administration specifically targeted reporter Alex Berenson, who was critical of vaccines and subsequently removed from Twitter.

Twitter's automatic content moderation system along with foreign content moderators made it difficult for the platform to properly monitor posts. 

"Inevitably, dissident yet legitimate content was labeled as misinformation, and the accounts of doctors and others were suspended both for tweeting opinions and demonstrably true information," Zweig said.

Other accounts using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's own data were even taken down for misinformation.

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