I hope you’re enjoying your holidays. Even though I had promised to myself that I would take a break, I couldn’t avoid writing about the latest #TwitterFiles drop, where journalist David Zweig shares what he found when looking at what the Twitter archives had to say about the “content-moderation policies” employed by the company throughout the pandemic. His findings confirm what various leaks, FOIA requests and ongoing lawsuits had already begun to disclose. “The United States government pressured Twitter to elevate certain content and suppress other content about Covid-19 and the pandemic”, says Zweig, who claims he viewed internal email showing “that both the Trump and Biden administrations directly pressed Twitter executives to moderate the platform’s content according to their wishes”. The result was that “dissident-yet-legitimate content was labeled as misinformation, and the accounts of doctors and others were suspended both for tweeting opinions and demonstrably true information”. The ultimate tragedy about all this is that we were prevented a debate on possible alternatives to school closures, lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and the like — alternatives that might have spared us a lot of the destructive consequences of these policies: collapsing living standards, deadly backlogs in the health system, declines in children’s learning abilities and people’s mental health, democratic backsliding, etc. You can read the article on Compact.

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