Twitter Suspends Reporter for Pointing Out Established Medical Truth


Commentary

C. Douglas Golden August 8, 2021 at 1:09pm

Vaccines are not safe for everyone.

That’s as close to an indisputable statement as you can make. It doesn’t make you an “anti-vaxxer.” It doesn’t make you a conspiracy theorist. You aren’t peddling “misinformation.” You’re stating a very obvious fact.

Adverse reactions are rare, sure. For most people, getting inoculated is not risky — far from it. However, that first sentence is a statement of fact: “Vaccines are not safe for everyone.”

Yet that statement got a conservative journalist locked out of his Twitter account.

On Tuesday, Greg Piper of Just the News — a conservative site founded by investigative reporter John Solomon — tweeted that sentence along with a link to a report from The College Fix, a higher education news outlet.

The article dealt with a college student’s battle against Brigham Young University Hawaii, which refused to grant her a COVID-19 vaccine exemption even though she has a medical condition that could make it dangerous for her to receive the shot.

Here’s Piper’s tweet:

Vaccines are not safe for everyone.

University refuses to let student attend unless she takes vaccine that could paralyze her https://t.co/USZjVl0428 via @collegefix

— Greg Piper #SmilesMatter 😀 (@gregpiper) August 4, 2021

Twitter locked Piper’s account in response.

When Piper appealed the suspension, he said “[Twitter] told me to delete the tweet and then my 12-hour lockout can start, but unless I delete the tweet, the appeal continues and has no deadline.”

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that Piper’s tweet was correct.

“If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe, to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol), you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine,” Tom Skinner told Just the News.

Meanwhile, the CDC’s guidelines state that “some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them.”

Twitter, of course, has made a big show of combatting “vaccine misinformation.” The problem is that Piper’s tweet wasn’t misinformation — it was just information that didn’t sit well with the Big Tech giant.

Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Just the News, and Piper is back to tweeting after the company unlocked his account on Wednesday.

We’ve known this for at least a year, and yet you can be kicked off social media and locked out of science journals for saying it. https://t.co/bGL6mFQtII

— Greg Piper #SmilesMatter 😀 (@gregpiper) August 5, 2021

Let’s see if Twitter automatically flags this headline as “misinformation.”

Study: As Delta Proliferates, Vaccines Are Less Effective at Preventing Infection but Still Sharply Reduce That Riskhttps://t.co/jHtVuvhyHQ via @reason

— Greg Piper #SmilesMatter 😀 (@gregpiper) August 6, 2021

Keep on rockin’ in the free world, Greg Piper.

Twitter’s crackdown on “misinformation” wasn’t meant to keep charlatans off the platform. If that was the original intent, the company is currently careening down the proverbial slippery slope with impressive speed.

When obviously true statements like “vaccines are not safe for everyone” are flagged as misinformation, it’s not an algorithmic bug.

There’s only one correct line, one thing we’re all supposed to say. You’d better like having exactly the same opinions as everyone else in the crowd. Otherwise, what befell Greg Piper will eventually happen to you, too.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture

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