When The National Pulse's editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam shared an article on Twitter about the link between COVID-19 vaccinations and heart inflammation in young adults, the tweet was flagged as "misleading." But when NBC News tweeted the same story, the left-wing outlet was left unscathed on the Big Tech platform.
"Evidence grows stronger for Covid vaccine link to heart issue, CDC says," Kassam tweeted the headline verbatim Friday morning, linking to an article by NBC News which reported that "a higher-than-usual number" of heart inflammation cases has been recorded following COVID-19 vaccination among young adults.
Overall, 226 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination in individuals younger than age 30 have been confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited. Further investigation is needed, however, to confirm whether the vaccination was the cause of the heart problem.
NBC News tweeted its report without pushback from Twitter's policing force.
Kassam's tweet, however, was slapped with the Twitter warning:
"This Tweet is misleading. Find out why health officials consider COVID-19 vaccines safe for most people." The site's COVID-19 "misleading information" policy states that users "may not use Twitter's services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 which may lead to harm."
"Even as scientific understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop," the Help Center states, "we've observed the emergence of persistent conspiracy theories, alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research or credible reporting..." The page claims that "unsubstantiated rumors" left uncontextualized "can prevent the public from making informed decisions" and can place individuals, families and communities at "significant risk of harm."
What's dubbed as "false" or "misleading" information includes content about COVID-19 vaccines that invoke "deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces." Twitter further censors alleged false or misleading information about the "efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease" such as adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations, "where these claims have been widely debunked."
Twitter then prevented users from commenting, liking, direct messaging, or retweeting Kassam's tweet. Users could still quote tweet, however.
"Twitter is now stopping people from LIKING my tweet (which contains no comment from me) of an NBC link about vaccines based on CDC statements," remarked Kassam. "Twitter is committing health and information terrorism."
"We try to prevent a Tweet like this that otherwise breaks the Twitter Rules from reaching more people, so we have disabled most of the ways to engage with it," the Twitter notice reads when users click on any of the engagement icons.
Twitter Safety had released its approach to "misleading vaccine information" in December 2020. "As the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for the global distribution of vaccines, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what's happening and find the latest authoritative public health information," Twitter declared via Dec. 16 press release. The additional guidance argued that Twitter has "an important role to play" as "a place for good faith public debate" and discussion surrounding critical public health matters.
At the end of last month, Project Veritas released internal company documents obtained from Facebook whistleblowers detailing the platform's global campaign to censor COVID-19 vaccine concerns on the site. Two of the Facebook insiders came forward with leaked documentation detailing the social media giant's plan to curb and police "vaccine hesitancy" worldwide through "comment demotion."