Twitter Threatened With Class-Action Lawsuit for Banning Doctor Over COVID-19 Vaxxine Post
A doctor who was banned from Twitter for posting about COVID-19 vaccines is willing to serve as the lead plaintiff in a potential class-action lawsuit against the social media company, his lawyer has informed the tech giant.
Dr. Andrew Bostom “stands with a growing number of similarly situated people who have had their Twitter accounts suspended for sharing their views and opinions on COVID-19,” James Lawrence III, Bostom’s lawyer, told Twitter in a letter dated Aug. 6.
“Dr. Bostom is ready, willing, and able to serve as a lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Twitter for breach of contract if that becomes necessary,” Lawrence added.
Bostom, with the Brown University Center For Primary Care and Prevention, was permanently suspended in June after sharing the results of a study that linked Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine with lower sperm and semen concentration in men.
After Lawrence contacted Twitter on Bostom’s behalf, the company reversed the suspension, admitting he did not appear to violate any rules with the post.
Just two weeks later, Bostom was banned for asserting that the only randomized controlled trial data on children shows zero hospitalizations prevented by COVID-19 vaccination, while trial data from adults showed the vaccines caused more severe adverse events than the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations it prevented.
Twitter told Bostom in the suspension notice that he violated the company’s policy on spreading misleading information related to COVID-19.
But the post does not violate the policy, Lawrence told Vijaya Gadde, head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter.
The first portion of the comment is backed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s briefing document (pdf) analyzing Pfizer trial data in children aged 6 months to 23 months, the lawyer said, noting that there were zero hospitalizations in the placebo arm but one in the vaccinated arm.
The second portion is supported by a recent paper that analyzed serious adverse events from the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials and concluded that people who were vaccinated were at higher risk of an event than those who did not get a shot.
“His comments can be substantiated by actual pediatric and adult data. This is not ‘misinformation’ by any means, but rather a restating of actual scientific analysis of the data from clinical trials of Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” Lawrence wrote.
Both the vaccines are built on messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology.
Even if the comment did violate Twitter’s policy, the company failed to follow its own five-strikes rule, which gives users five violations before a ban, the lawyer said.
He recently represented journalist Alex Berenson in a case against Twitter in which a judge said Twitter violated its own rule in its ban of Berenson. The suit was settled, and Berenson was reinstated.
Twitter is being urged to restore Bostom’s account by 8 p.m. on Aug. 12.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.