By Jack Phillips
Media company Grabien News has been suspended by Twitter for posting a video of a U.S. congressman criticizing pharmaceutical corporations, its founder said.
Grabien founder Tom Elliott wrote on Twitter on Dec. 31 that Grabien was suspended for citing comments by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) about COVID-19 treatments.
“Big Pharma Won’t Consider Therapeutics Like HCQ or Ivermectin Because of Economic Interests,” the post reads. It had an attached link to a video containing the congressman’s comments.
Elliott included a screenshot statement from Twitter, which sent him a boilerplate message that Grabien was suspended for “violating the policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19,” which Elliott described as “next-level Twitter absurdity.”
“Obviously, in this case, quoting an elected leader on an issue that matters to everyone is important and newsworthy, regardless of whether you agree,” Elliott said. “And I can’t help but add that his basic point was once mainstream among progressives.
“I’ve appealed, making this point. However, I have no confidence in Twitter doing the right thing and acknowledging this tweet did not violate its terms & conditions.”
Twitter officials didn’t respond to an Epoch Times request for comment by press time.
The suspension appears to suggest Twitter is aiming to crack down on COVID-19- or vaccine-related posts and content that run contrary to mainstream views on the matter.
Dr. Robert Malone, who helped develop the mRNA vaccine technology, was suspended last week for allegedly violating Twitter’s terms and conditions. And on Jan. 2, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) personal Twitter page was suspended for similar reasons, she wrote on social media site Gettr.
“We permanently suspended Marjorie Taylor Greene for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation policy,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement on Jan. 2. “We’ve been clear that, per our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy.”
Malone, meanwhile, told The Epoch Times that his account—which had more than 500,000 followers—was permanently suspended with no forewarning. That was days before Malone conducted an interview with popular podcaster Joe Rogan.
Meanwhile, former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson has filed a lawsuit against Twitter after his account, which also had amassed hundreds of thousands of followers, was banned.
Last month, former CEO Jack Dorsey resigned from his position at Twitter, sparking concern that the San Francisco-based company would take a more hard-line stance on what content can be posted. Longtime Twitter employee Parag Agrawal, who previously made comments critical of free speech, took over as CEO upon Dorsey’s departure.