COVID-19 lockdown critic Dr. Jay Bhattacharya revealed more details of Twitter’s censorship of him on Sunday, drawing praise from Twitter CEO Elon Musk for his “rigorous adherence to science.”
A Stanford medical professor, Bhattacharya on Sunday tweeted that he visited Twitter headquarters at Musk’s invitation, and learned more details of Twitter’s censoring him. Twitter had placed the doctor on previously secret blacklists, which were revealed Dec. 8.
Bhattacharya was one of many individuals Twitter censored for COVID-19 so-called “misinformation” as a result of federal government coordination with the platform.
Journalist Bari Weiss tweeted on Thursday that Twitter placed Bhattacharya's Twitter page on a "Trends Blacklist" for his critiques of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Bhattacharya said pre-Musk Twitter placed him on a trends ”blacklist” his very first day on the platform in August 2021, probably due to his pinned tweet of the Great Barrington Declaration and general complaints users made to Twitter. The declaration, originally written by Bhattacharya and two other doctors in October 2020, opposes COVID-19 lockdown and masking measures and has since been signed by over 934,000 people, including 63,267 medical practitioners and scientists.
Social media companies censored the declaration because it contradicted the narrative that the COVID-19 science was “settled” and that all qualified doctors agreed on masking and lockdowns. Bhattacharya’s tweet of the declaration immediately marked him for Twitter targeting.
Bhattacharya continued his tweet thread, “Twitter 1.0 rejected requests for verification by me and @MartinKulldorff.” Epidemiologist Kulldorff was a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration. “Each time the reasoning (never conveyed to us) was that we were not notable enough,” Bhattacharya tweeted. Meanwhile, relatively unknown leftist journalists obtained verification on Twitter.
The doctor added sarcastically: “They should have asked [National Institutes of Health Director] Francis Collins -- he would have vouched for our standing as ‘fringe epidemiologists.’” Collins endorsed increased censorship in November 2021, saying alleged “misinformation” spreaders ought to be “brought to justice.”
Bhattacharya ended: “It will take some time to find out more about what led Twitter 1.0 to act so imperiously, but I am grateful to @elonmusk, who has promised access to help find out. I will report the results on Twitter 2.0, where transparency and free speech rule.”
Musk responded to Bhattacharya, tweeting, “Thank you for your rigorous adherence to science.”
Musk and partnered journalists have released multiple installments of the “Twitter Files,” detailing the platform’s biased censorship. A February MRC Free Speech America study found over 800 cases of Big Tech censorship of COVID-19 content.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Twitter at 415-222-9670 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.