Wolf – who had nearly 150,000 followers – was suspended from Twitter on Friday evening following her repeated commentary against Covid-19 vaccinations.
Though it’s not clear exactly which post led to Wolf’s suspension, the author had a history of making anti-vaccine comments and had published several on the day of her ban.
Opponents of Wolf’s rhetoric, including liberal journalist Thor Benson, had lobbied Twitter for her suspension shortly beforehand, complaining that the author was still allowed to tweet despite her anti-vaxx comments being seemingly against the social network’s rules.
Many users celebrated Wolf’s ban, calling her a “nutty anti-vaxxer” and hers “one of the most damaging accounts spreading disinformation on Twitter.” Journalist Will Black even thanked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for the move, writing, “She’s dangerous and should not return.”
Some, however, condemned the ban, calling it censorship and pointing out that others who’d spread conspiracy theories on the platform had not faced the same sanction.
“I dislike her but I dislike censorship more,” said one Twitter user, while journalist Glenn Greenwald argued, “I think a lot of people who constantly disseminate false claims and unhinged and dangerous conspiracy theories – such as MNSBC and CNN hosts – should nonetheless be allowed to remain on Silicon Valley monopolistic social media platforms.”
Last year, during the pandemic, Twitter expanded its rules to prohibit “false or misleading narratives about Covid-19 vaccinations,” including claims that they’re used to “cause harm to or control populations,” false information about “adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations,” and claims that “vaccinations are unnecessary.”
Several of Wolf’s much-discussed tweets apparently fell into one of those categories. The author has long been the target of the self-professed fighters against vaccine disinformation, and was once tricked by a reporter with the Intercept into posting a fake vaccine-skeptic meme with a porn star presented as a doctor.
Wolf, who describes herself as “a lifelong progressive,” became a pariah among her supporters after taking the staunch anti-vaccine stance and speaking out against strict lockdown measures – which she’s compared to “fascism” – and has even been accused of holding views that align with those of the far right.
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