The popular conservative news outlet LifeSite news had their Twitter account yanked from them after the Twitter “found” an article published four years ago which included a series of facts about STD’s. Unsurprisingly, Twitter labeled the content as ‘hate speech’ and promptly shut down LifeSite news’ Twitter account.
In the article for which Twitter locked down the pro life account, Dr. Gerard M. Nadal, President and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion, stated that HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea were on the rise among the LGBTQ community because 60 percent of homosexual men “failed to disclose their symptoms or status to sex partners.” According to LifeSite news, he cited data from the Centers for Disease Control, The New York Times, and a medical journal.
The argument in the piece was that sexually transmitted diseases had nothing to do with homophobia, but rather because of other reasons. Non-conservative news outlets, such as the Atlantic and LGBTQ Nation, have written on similar subjects and have cited the same sources. The Atlantic reported almost the exact same thing, with the one difference being the date — it was published in 2018, not 2014. LGBTQ Nation was not censored by Twitter for its 2011 piece on the rise of AIDS among black bisexual men. Only LifeSiteNews was censored for this.
On Thursday, Twitter notified LifeSiteNews it was locking our account because a tweet displaying the story’s neutral, factual headline violated “rules against hateful conduct” and “promote[d] violence against, threaten[ed], or harass[ed] other people on the basis of […] sexual orientation.”
LifeSite news staff were told that the only way to regain access to their account would be to delete the tweet or start a lengthy appeal process. LifeSite news refused to delete the tweet and began the appeal process. They also launched a petition demanding that Twitter stop censoring them because of their conservative content. The petition received nearly 7,500 signatures in just eighteen hours.
On Friday, Twitter Support notified LifeSiteNews that it has reversed the lock.
“We have restored your account, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” the message read. “Twitter takes reports of violations of the Twitter Rules very seriously. After reviewing your account, it looks like we made an error.”
It is good that Twitter ultimately rectified the problem and restored LifeSite news’ access to its Twitter account. However, in light of Twitter’s very recent refusal to take down actual hate speech, the censorship of scientific research is extremely problematic.