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Twitter has suspended the independent news outlet Zero Hedge. The publication, which enjoyed a following of over 673,000 followers on Twitter, was unceremoniously nuked from the social media platform following its report that the origins of the deadly coronavirus (2019-nCoV) may have a man-made origin, in addition to reports that the Chinese government may be suppressing the total number of people infected by the deadly illness that is sweeping throughout Wuhan.
According to the pseudonymous Zero Hedge writer, Tyler Durden, mainstream media outlets have been pushing back against the story by pointing fingers at Zero Hedge for covering the topic that has received widespread attention on social media due to the postings of Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding and Dr. Anand Ranganathan, who highlighted studies noting the coronavirus’ strange properties.
Given Twitter’s lack of transparency in suspending, it cannot be confirmed if Zero Hedge’s new articles and the subsequent backlash from websites like Politifact contributed to the social media’s decision to ban it, or if it was taken down by mass reports. Twitter quietly implemented a new report function that allows U.S.-based users to report tweets for being “misleading about a political election.”
The new function, which was discovered on Thursday by OANN journalist Jack Posobiec, allows would-be Karens to call upon Twitter to suspend an account for a variety of reasons, including: “It has false information about where or how to vote or register to vote,” “It intends to suppress or intimidate someone from voting,” and “It is misrepresenting its affiliation with or impersonating a candidate, elected official, political party, or government entity.”
Apart from its articles on the coronavirus outbreak, Zero Hedge articles are widely shared by conservatives on social media, having produced numerous articles about the impeachment of President Donald Trump and articles critical of the Democratic establishment.
The article referenced by the BuzzFeed writer, titled “Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?” poses a question–one that many are calling for answers to while members of the mainstream press state that “bat soup,” “snakes” and other exotic animals are the source of the illness.
Zero Hedge points out in its own article that the scientist they identified is the lead of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group at the Institute.
As the publication notes, the doctor in question is a public figure whose information is readily accessible at the Wuhan Institute of Virology website, which flies in the face of claims that the website “doxed” the individual.