Alex Berenson

Twitter

Journalist and author Alex Berenson censored by Twitter for third time in two weeks over COVID tweets: Former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson has been heavily covering the COVID-19 policy responses as an independent journalist, via his social media accounts and now his Substack newsletter. He recently tweeted about the results of a Pfizer clinical trial of its vaccine, saying "The pivotal clinical trial for the @pfizer #Covid vaccine shows it does nothing to reduce the overall risk of death. ZERO. 15 patients who received the vaccine died; 14 who received placebo died. The end. The trial blind is broken now. This is all the data we will ever have." His tweet also included screenshots from the study that was labeled as not yet having been peer reviewed. 

Twitter initially slapped the tweet with its most restrictive warning label. The label read: "This Tweet may be misleading. Get the latest on preventative measures and COVID-19." The label linked to a Twitter Help Center page titled "COVID-19 misleading information policy." This page provides Twitter's in-depth policy, but no further information about the virus. Along with the warning label, Berenson's tweet was restricted from being commented on or liked. While retweets were also not allowed, quote tweets were, but only after a user clicked through yet another warning label reiterating the same information and with the same link, and instead chose the much smaller and less prominent "Quote Tweet" link below the warning in the pop-up.

After this, Berenson reported on his Twitter account that the warning label had been removed, and included before and after screenshots. However, as of the time of this publication, a new warning label was on the tweet, reading "Misleading. Learn why health officials recommend a vaccine for most people. Find out more." The new warning label, which is just as restrictive as the old one, links to a Twitter-curated page titled "COVID-19 vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness and deaths, trials show." This page contains un-attributed and un-sourced information about the vaccines, as well as relevant tweets from major leftist sources and public health organizations. 

The screenshots that Berenson shared show a Twitter notice that the tweet violated its "policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19." Berenson reported to CensorTrack that Twitter is not requiring the offending tweet to be deleted. He reported, via his Substack newsletter, that his account had been suspended for a week over this tweet. His account does not have a suspension notice on it, but Twitter's standard policy in such cases is to prevent the user from tweeting or interacting with other tweets, typically only allowing the user to read tweets and use the DM function. Berenson's account was most recently restricted for 12 hours three days before this newest incident..