In the latest chapter of the Twitter Files, writer David Zweig revealed how both the Trump and Biden administrations pressed Twitter officials to remove ‘real but inconvenient’ content.

The Biden administration also put pressure on Twitter to remove former New York Times writer Alex Berenson for tweeting about COVID vaccinations.

Documents recently made public show how Twitter officials attempted to hide ‘inconvenient’ material concerning COVID by undermining doctors and professionals who came out against vaccines.  

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Who is Alex Berenson?

Born January 6, 1973, Alexander Norman Berenson is a New York Times reporter who has written many mystery novels as well as a book on corporate financial filings. His 2019 book Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence aroused outrage, with many in the scientific and medical institutions condemning it.

Berenson was born in New York and grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. After completing the Horace Mann School, he earned bachelor’s degrees in history and economics from Yale University in 1994.

Berenson began working as a business writer for The Denver Post in June 1994. He left the Post in August 1996 to join TheStreet, a financial news website launched by Jim Cramer. Berenson began working as a business investigative reporter for The New York Times in December 1999.

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Berenson covered the occupation of Iraq for the New York Times between the fall of 2003 and the summer of 2004. He then focused on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, focusing in harmful drug issues. Berenson began reporting on the Bernard Madoff $50 billion Ponzi scheme scam in December 2008.

Berenson departed the Times in 2010 to pursue a career as a full-time novelist. He lives in Garrison, New York, with his forensic psychiatrist wife, Jacqueline.

During the coronavirus outbreak, Berenson featured regularly in American right-wing media, promoting misleading information about COVID-19 and its vaccines. He spent much of the pandemic claiming that its severity was exaggerated; once COVID-19 vaccinations were available, he made fraudulent claims regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Due to repeated violations of its COVID-19 misinformation policy, Twitter permanently terminated Berenson’s account on August 28, 2021. However, after Berenson sued in December 2021 to have his account back, Twitter reinstated his account in early summer 2022 in a “mutually agreeable agreement.” The Atlantic described this reinstatement as “important,” noting that most people who are barred from social media don’t succeed in their legal battles. 

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Due to a First Amendment free speech claim that the judge rejected, Berenson was unable to recover access to Twitter. According to Eric Goldman, a legal professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, Twitter reached a settlement because there is evidence of promises made to Berenson by a senior Twitter employee regarding the content of his tweets. According to Goldman, lawyers for Internet firm CEOs have long cautioned them not to promise anyone or even talk to anyone about their personal accounts “for reasons that should now be evident.”