Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Intellectual conformity leads nowhere good. Twitter has no business taking sides in any debate about how to treat any disease.
Two weeks ago, I blogged about a magazine article titled The Drug that Cracked Covid. It describes the bizarre reaction, on the part of health bureaucrats and journalists, to the news that Ivermectin is a pandemic game-changer.
On the one hand we have ICU doctors who’ve been toiling in the trenches, battling COVID for over a year. Based on firsthand experience and a mountain of research, they know this cheap, generic drug is highly effective. On the other hand, we have health bureaucrats who’ve never treated a single COVID patient, who haven’t worked a single shift in ICU during this pandemic, insisting Ivermectin should not be used as a COVID medicine.
But there’s a further component to this madness: Big Tech censorship. Tom Nelson lives in Minnesota and has a Masters of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He’s been an independent blogger since 2005, when he began commenting on the extinction status of a particular species of woodpecker. These days, he’s an active participant in the online climate debate.
Having joined Twitter in 2008, Nelson is now followed by 28.7 thousand people. But two weeks ago, he did something that put his Twitter account at risk – he talked about my blog post. Twitter says that quoting my summary and linking to my post violates its rules concerning “misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
Twitter, he was further advised, requires “the removal of content that may pose a risk to people’s health, including content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information.”
So an experienced journalist (moi, here in Canada), blogs about an article written by another experienced journalist (Michael Capuzzo, in the US). When Nelson tells the world about our work, Twitter locks his account – preventing him from tweeting, retweeting, or liking other people’s messages until he deletes the dangerous, forbidden, not-to-be-tolerated tweet.
But deletion wasn’t enough. Only after Nelson took this step, did a 12-hour countdown begin. In other words, Nelson spent 12+ hours in Twitter’s penalty box for tweeting about the work of professional journalists.
The next day Nelson quoted from, and linked to, the magazine article itself.
That resulted in a near immediate second suspension. In order to continue talking to his audience of more than 28 thousand people, Nelson was required to delete that tweet, as well – and to spend seven days in Twitter’s penalty box.
This is insane. Twitter has no business censoring journalists. It has no business taking sides in any debate about how best to treat any disease. But it is doing so. Ever more aggressively. And with absolute impunity.
In Nelson’s words: “I’m incredibly angry about this. I believe Twitter censorship of the Ivermectin discussion has already cost people their lives.”
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If/when Tom Nelson’s Twitter account is obliterated entirely, you can find him