- Twitter’s Site Integrity team determined that Dr. Andrew Bostom, a medical doctor and former academic at Brown University, was inappropriately suspended from the platform over allegations of misinformation, according to documents published Monday by David Zweig for The Free Press.
- However, Bostom told the Daily Caller News Foundation his account was not reinstated until Christmas, roughly five months later, and that it is possible his suspension was politically motivated.
- “I wish we could get an insight into what this so-called process was, I mean, who are these people?” Bostom asked in an interview with the DCNF.
Internal documents show that Twitter’s Site Integrity team had determined that Dr. Andrew Bostom was inappropriately suspended from the platform after he cited self-reported data compiled by health officials. However, Bostom told the Daily Caller News Foundation that he received no communication from Twitter despite filing several appeals, and that he believes his five month suspension — his account was reinstated on Christmas — may have been politically motivated.
The retired Brown University academic’s account received five strikes for misinformation, prompting his suspension from the platform, but an audit by the integrity team determined that four of the strikes against account had been inappropriately applied, according to internal documents published by Free Press journalist David Zweig. Bostom said he had “absolutely no idea” why his account was banned, and that he hadn’t received any communication on the four appeals he filed challenging his suspension, even after Elon Musk acquired the social media platform.
“I appealed twice during the summer as this was going on … I was suspended simply for summarizing” data that had been published by the CDC or scientific journals, Bostom told the DCNF. He said his lawyer sent Twitter a “stern letter” regarding the suspension, and while it was briefly lifted, “two weeks later they suspended me again.”
One of Bostom’s tweets was flagged by both a bot and a human, Zweig reported, prompting Bostom to ask why a human was even looking at his account.
“I wish we could get an insight into what this so-called process was, I mean, who are these people?” Bostom asked. He later wondered, “the bot does its thing, but who told the human to intervene?”
Twitter’s Site Integrity team upheld the strike against the same tweet, posted in April 2022, but nonetheless internally announced their intention to lift the suspension, and mandated that further action against his account must first be approved by the Site Integrity team, according to Zweig. Nonetheless, the suspension appears to have remained intact, and Bostom told the DCNF that the remaining strike was also “completely invalid.”
The offending tweet argued that while COVID-19 was less dangerous than the flu for children, the COVID-19 vaccine was more dangerous than the flu vaccine for the same demographic.
Bostom cited a study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which found that, in 2020, COVID-19 did not significantly contribute to the deaths of 64 of the 182 children who died while diagnosed with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Bostom noted, in the 2019-20 flu season, the most recent flu season to be measured by the CDC, over 480 children had died from the flu, with the number being much larger in previous years, reaching 1,161 in 2012.
31. The one Bostom tweet found to still be in violation cited data that was legitimate but inconvenient to the public health establishment’s narrative about the risks of flu versus Covid in children. pic.twitter.com/KT3q7Ee9CA
— David Zweig (@davidzweig) December 26, 2022
He then compared hospitalization rates due to adverse reactions from the COVID-19 and flu vaccines in children aged 6 to seventeen, citing data he compiled after querying the Department of Health and Human Services Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), to argue that the COVID-19 vaccine was far more dangerous for children than the flu vaccine.
“Anyone, including Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system,” a disclaimer on the VAERS website reads. “While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.”
Bostom suspects that, while “there was no directive” from Twitter or a member of the government to go after his account, his questioning of public health officials may have ruffled feathers. He said that his books on Islam — one of which argues that a unique Islamic antisemitism is fundamental to the religion — and appearances on Fox News may also have made him a target.
Bostom told the DCNF that he believes his account was only restored as part of an effort by Elon Musk, following Zweig’s report. While he would have understood if Musk had made the “business decision” that spending the time to reinstate accounts was “wasteful,” Bostom said he was glad to recover his account without losing the roughly 60,000 followers he had acquired.
When dealing with respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and the flu “the idea is to treat the kids supportively to the best of [their doctor’s] ability and to not arouse panic,” Bostom said. “It comes and it goes, and it’s just a part of life. I wish we could get back to that. That was the pre-COVID mentality.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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