Science, Technology, and Social Media

Pro-Censorship Nonprofit Prompted Twitter To Suppress RFK Jr And Other Popular Accounts

Twitter targeted popular accounts following a report by a British pro-censorship nonprofit, according to a new batch of Twitter Files posted by journalist Paul D. Thacker.

Twitter gave certain tweets a “vaccine safety label,” citing a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) called “The Disinformation Dozen,” according to emails. The report identifies the “Twelve Leading Antivaxxers,” which accuses them of being prominent sources of online “misinformation,” advocating for their “deplatforming;” subsequently, Twitter labeled tweets from seven of these individuals as vaccine misinformation after the release of the CCDH report.

“COVID-19 misinfo enforcement team is planning on taking action on a handful of accounts surfaced by the CCDH report,” a Twitter email stated, according to a screenshot. Twitter labeled tweets by now-presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Joseph Mercola, Erin Elizabeth, Sherri Tenpenny, Christiane Northrup, Rashid Buttar and Ben Tapper, according to another screenshot.

Twitter put a “Vaccine Safety” label on a tweet by Kennedy, which included a letter he sent to President Joe Biden, according to Thacker. When Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over Twitter in October, the labels were removed.

CCDH released the report on March 24 2021, the day before the testimony of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in front of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on misinformation.

Moreover, CCDH’s Stop Funding Misinformation page contains research asserting that platforms like Twitter profit off of “Anti-LGBTQ+ Rhetoric” and “bringing back banned accounts.” The nonprofit states its work “has forced change at once-reluctant social media platforms and led to anti-vaxxers removing their propaganda to avoid being banned.”

CCDH released a report called “The Toxic Ten” demanding Facebook and Google pull advertisements from ten websites, including many conservative news publications that the group says spreads climate “misinformation,” such as Breitbart, Newsmax, The Washington Times, The Federalist Papers and The Daily Wire.

After a recent court order preventing the U.S. government from colluding with social media platforms to censor protected speech, Imran Ahmed, CEO of CCDH, told The New York Times, “It’s bananas that you can’t show a nipple on the Super Bowl but Facebook can still broadcast Nazi propaganda, empower stalkers and harassers, undermine public health and facilitate extremism in the United States.”

CCDH did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Twitter responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment with a poop emoji, its automatic response to all press emails.

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