Biden Personally Demanded Twitter Ban Journalist

A merger of state and corporate power to silence and crush political dissent.

The White House privately demanded Twitter ban me months before the company did so

By , August 13, 2022:

Biden Administration officials asked Twitter to ban me because of my tweets questioning the Covid vaccines, even as company employees believed I had followed Twitter’s rules, internal Twitter communications reveal.

In a White House meeting in April 2021, four months before Twitter suspended my account, the company faced “one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform,” a Twitter employee wrote.

The employee recounted the meeting discussion afterwards on Twitter’s internal Slack messaging system. The message, and others, make clear that top federal officials targeted me specifically, potentially violating my basic First Amendment right to free speech.

The First Amendment does not apply to private companies like Twitter. But if the companies are acting on behalf of the federal government they can become “state actors” that must allow free speech and debate, just as the government does.

Previous efforts to file state action lawsuits against the government and social media companies for working together to ban users have failed. Courts have universally held that people who have been banned have not shown the specific demands from government officials that are necessary to support state action claims.

From Twitter’s internal Slack channel — Image 1, Image 2

At the time, employees said internally they did not believe I had broken the company’s rules. “I’ve taken a pretty close look at his account and I don’t think any of it’s violative,” an employee wrote on the Slack conversation a few minutes after the “really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off.”

But the pressure on Twitter to take action against me and other mRNA vaccine skeptics steadily increased after that April meeting, and especially in July and August, as the government began to consider the unprecedented step of mandating Covid vaccines for adults.

On July 16, 2021, President Biden complained publicly that social media companies were “killing people” by encouraging vaccine hesitancy. A few hours after Biden’s comment, Twitter suspended my account for the first time.

On August 28, 2021, barely four months after the meeting, Twitter banned me – for a tweet that it has now acknowledged “should not have led to my suspension.”

I obtained the message and other documents related to Twitter’s censorship of me as part of my lawsuit against Twitter over my August 2021 ban. I filed the suit in federal court in San Francisco in December 2021. Twitter and I settled it last month, when Twitter restored my account and acknowledged it had erred in banning me.

The documents contain other revelations, including emails showing that other reporters asked Twitter to take action against me; I will report on those in the future.

More messages, emails, and internal documents are expected.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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