Alex Berenson: Twitter bans anti-vaxxer for 'repeated violations'
'It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine,' Alex Berenson tweeted
Vaccine doubter and conservative commentator, Alex Berenson has been permanently suspended from Twitter for violating the social media platform’s Covid-19 misinformation norms.
Berenson’s Twitter account was banned on Saturday, August 28 after “repeated violations” of the rules, a Twitter spokesperson told NBC News in a statement. Berenson, a former New York Times reporter, addressed the suspension in a Saturday night post to his Substack page, blaming his removal from Twitter on a recent post where he was critical of the Covid-19 vaccine. “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission. Don’t think of it as a vaccine,” the tweet read. “Think of it at best as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS.”
Berenson, in his Substack post, defended the tweet in question as “entirely accurate.” In a statement, the Yale-educated writer and novelist blasted Twitter’s decision. “We have reached a dangerous moment. Social media companies that have audiences which dwarf any other are now actively censoring reporters at the behest of governments,” he said.
“I will continue to fight to get out the truth and am considering all legal options.” "The account you referenced has been permanently suspended for repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules," a Twitter spokesperson said in response to an inquiry which took place on Saturday night. "This was the tweet that did it," he wrote, above a screenshot of his account before it was taken down. "Entirely accurate. I can’t wait to hear what a jury will make of this."
Who is Alex Berenson?
Berenson worked at the New York Times from 1999 until 2010, before becoming a full-time novelist. He also published nonfiction, including a controversial 2019 book that argued against the legalization of marijuana.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have stated that Covid-19 vaccines "are safe and effective" following tens of thousands of clinical trials and that side effects are rare. Berenson, 48, has earlier made national headlines for criticizing Covid-19 lockdowns and mandates, drawing the ire of Big Tech, the mainstream media and others who sought to bury his writing.
In a December op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Berenson warned that the Covid-19 pandemic had ushered in "a new age of censorship and suppression." "Information has never been more plentiful or easier to distribute. Yet we are sliding into a new age of censorship and suppression, encouraged by technology giants and traditional media companies. As someone who’s been falsely characterized as a coronavirus ‘denier,’" he wrote at the time. "I have seen this crisis firsthand." At that time, he had just ended battling with Amazon over a dispute over his own self-published books. "Since June, Amazon has twice tried to suppress self-published booklets I have written about Covid-19 and the response to it," he continued. "These booklets don’t contain conspiracy theories. Like the scientists who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration, I simply believe many measures to control the coronavirus have been damaging, counterproductive and unsupported by science."