133 days after Twitter “permanently” banned Zero Hedge on January 31, the social network has reinstated us after admitting it made an error.
As a reminder, what happened in late January was confusing. Shortly after we asked if “This [Is] The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic“, referring to Wuhan Institute Of Virology scientist Peng Zhou (who three months later was being investigated by western spy agencies for his role in creating Covid) and some low-grade “reporter” from Buzzfeed decided to report us to Twitter for “doxxing” Zhou using publicly available information, Twitter told us that the account had been suspended for “violating Twitter rules against abuse and harassment”, which was false as we neither incited abuse nor harrassment, but merely asked questions. But the confusing part is that at the same time, Twitter fabricated an entirely different explanation for its decision when speaking to outside media, telling them the suspension was due to “platform manipulation” – whatever that means.
An odd mix of conflicting explanations but in any case, neither was true as we said at the time, and as we further told Bloomberg, the suspension was “unjustified, and likely motivated by reasons other than the stated ones” adding that “we are confident that we did not violate any of the stated Twitter terms: we neither incited harassment, nor did we ‘dox’ the public official, whose contact information is as of this moment listed on the Wuhan institute’s website.”
Fast forward to late Friday night, when unexpectedly we received a brief email from Twitter Support informing us that “we made an error in our enforcement action” as a result of which “we have unsuspended your account.”
Speaking to Bloomberg, a Twitter spokesperson said that “we made an error in our enforcement action in this case. Based on additional context from the account holder in appeal, we have reinstated the account. We have a dedicated appeals process for all account holders.”
Funny how mistakes happen when you ban first and ask questions later (and only when prompted to do so).
In any case, no bad blood right – honest mistake? Well, not really: before all this happened, none other than Twitter’s CEO was following us.
The @zerohedge account also remains highly shadow banned (try searching for the actual zerohedge account on twitter, good luck), perhaps as an innocuous consequence of the “error.”
That’s OK though, we never expected an apology. We are just glad that we will be able to share facts and perspectives with our now 700K Twitter followers, a number which has spiked by more than 30K in just the past few hours since the suspension was overturned.
Erin Marie Olszewski is a Nurse-turned-investigative journalist, who has spent the last few months on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, on the inside in two radically different settings.
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