- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2022

Writer Alex Berenson said Friday that internal Twitter communications show the Biden administration privately urged the social media platform to ban him from the site before the company did so.

Mr. Berenson, a prominent critic of the COVID-19 response in the U.S., published the internal Slack messages of Twitter employees that he said he obtained from a lawsuit he filed over his suspension from Twitter.

The messages include Twitter employees discussing a meeting with President Biden’s team in 2021. They also show a Twitter employee saying the White House had “one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform.”

Another message showed Andrew Slavitt, then-senior adviser to Mr. Biden’s COVID-19 response team, complaining specifically about Mr. Berenson.

“They really wanted to know about Alex Berenson,” a Twitter employee wrote. “Andy Slavitt suggested they had seen data viz that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outward to the persuadable public.”

Mr. Berenson said Twitter suspended him approximately four months after the company’s meeting with the White House.

Twitter reinstated Mr. Berenson last month following a settlement, according to Mr. Berenson. He shared his claims of state-directed censorship via Twitter on Friday and pledged to file a new lawsuit.

“This is state action and a violation of my First Amendment rights, period,” Mr. Berenson said on Twitter. “Berenson v. Biden (and Slavitt), coming soon to a federal court near you.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr. Biden’s team has previously acknowledged its efforts to influence social media companies’ censorship decisions.

Then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last year that the administration was “regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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