OPINION: Within hours of issuing to Twitter a July 14 legal letter of intent to sue, Dr. Andrew Bostom and his legal team won a major victory, when the embattled social media giant reinstated Bostom’s personal Twitter account. “After further review, we have unsuspended your account as it does not appear to be in violation of the Twitter Rules,” the reinstatement message from Twitter stated.
Brown University epidemiologist, Andrew Bostom, was originally suspended by Twitter just days after his June 19 tweet (see below), where he shared the results from a peer-reviewed vaccine-sperm study published by the Andrology Society of America. Twitter’s suspension notice said Bostom violated its rule against “spreading misleading or potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Dr. Bostom will be Mike Stenhouse’s guest at the end of his popular In The Dugout video podcast today, July 20, which can be viewed live at 4:00PM or anytime after at: oceanstatecurrent.com/in-the-dugout-july-20-2022/
But here’s the critical question: Did officials from the State of Rhode Island demand that Twitter shut down Dr. Bostom’s account? Given that government cannot directly shut down the free speech of their critics without violating the US Constitution’s First Amendment, it has long been speculated that devious government bureaucrats have learned that they can bypass constitutional encroachments by asking their allies in BIG SOCIAL MEDIA to do their dirty work for them.
And this wouldn’t be the first time in our state. A Rhode Island Board of Elections official admitted as much following the 2020 elections on an In The Dugout interview, when defeated State Senatorial candidate, Chad Callanan, had his account restricted by Facebook, after he posted evidence of what he alleged were mail-ballot signature-match errors … challenging the BOE’s contention that the mail-ballot process was fully secure … and after an official with the BOE apparently contacted Facebook, requesting the ‘offending’ posts to be removed … which they were.
Indeed, considering the hundreds of even more critical social media posts criticizing the government’s response to Covid-19 by Bostom since the onset of the pandemic, the nature and timing of the Tweet that led to his suspension are suspicious.
Just after his Twitter suspension, Dr. Bostom was prominently mentioned in an official early July filing in Rhode Island Superior Court, when the State of RI filed a motion, seeking to disallow digital disclosure of a key deposition taken in the ongoing Southwell v McKee school mask mandate lawsuit. The motion specifically claimed that certain individuals like Dr Bostom might be critical of the deposition testimony, fearing that such criticism might be propagated publicly on their social media accounts. The motion even cited specific posts of Dr. Bostom, whose social media accounts the government was obviously monitoring.
Given that Bostom’s Twitter account had been suspended just days earlier. Did the State of RI make yet another request to a social media entity to shut down one of its critics, in this case, in a desperate attempt to pre-empt expert analysis of the deposition by Dr. James McDonald, former medical director and interim director for the RI Department of Health? If so, the implications are stunning and should concern every Rhode Islander and every American.
The State’s motion to the court (previously referred to) also claimed that public criticism of state health officials could lead to distrust of governmental health agencies. It is the opinion of this columnist that nothing could be more cause for distrust than government illegally conspiring with its big media or big tech allies to effectively shut down the free-speech rights of its citizens.
Dr. Bostom says the lesson here is that public needs to start suing these social media platforms, which he claims violate their own “five strikes” policy on suspending accounts, by arbitrarily shutting down informed discussion. Lawyers and lawsuits can be very expensive, however, but Bostom feels fortunate that he had the means to take initial legal steps to retain the same legal team that represented famed columnist Alex Berenson and also succeed in having his Twitter account reinstated.
Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?