Twitter’s actions—just like those by other tech giants such as Facebook and YouTube—specifically targeted the reach of our independent news and video content.
Twitter hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment and appeal, nor has the company explained what led it to censor our content or what caused it to lift its blockage two days later, following a public outcry.
The move by the social media giant came less than a week after we published our new documentary “The Real Story of January 6” and, on the same day, posted an interview with sex trafficking survivor Eliza Bleu, on our program “American Thought Leaders.”
While it remains unclear why Twitter targeted us, what is clear is that The Epoch Times is different from most other major news organizations, in that we dare to follow the stories where the facts lead.
In our Jan. 6 documentary, our reporters take an unvarnished look at the events of that day and present new witnesses and evidence that challenge the prevailing narratives. It provides extensive evidence of excessive use of force by police that broke protocol and policy, and raises questions about the lack of security that day. So far, the documentary has received more than a half-million views on our EpochTV platform.
In recent years, there have been other major stories on which The Epoch Times, because of our independence and adherence to traditional journalism, has differed from other major news organizations, only to be proven right.
For example, The Epoch Times reported accurately on events surrounding allegations that then-candidate and later President Donald Trump had colluded with Russia. From day one, The Epoch Times reported on the facts and through our reporting uncovered significant problems with the FBI’s probe of Trump’s campaign, which included problematic conduct involving surveillance.
While other news organizations won Pulitzers for their articles suggesting collusion between the president and Russia, The Epoch Times was, in fact, correct in reporting that the allegations had no support—as confirmed through investigations by special counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice inspector general, as well as the ongoing probe of the origins of the FBI’s investigation by special counsel John Durham.
The Epoch Times also was among the first to report on the possibility that the novel coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Our April 2020 documentary on the subject was censored by Facebook. Today, a lab leak is now held as the most likely explanation for the spread of the virus, by both media organizations and many government officials.
The danger of allowing platforms such as Twitter to take on the role of arbiter of the truth is that they, in many cases, are plainly wrong. The most prominent example was Twitter’s suppression of the New York Post over its reporting on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden.
This censorship behavior, which is antithetical to the protections Big Tech receives under Section 230, has also raised concerns about social media platforms censoring content on behalf of the government. Most recently, a federal judge ordered the government to cooperate in a lawsuit that alleges behind-the-scenes efforts to target the dissemination of information of stories related to COVID-19—including its possible origins and alternative treatments—that didn’t fit the government’s narrative.
“Government can’t outsource its censorship to Big Tech,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said.
The public outcry against Twitter’s censorship of The Epoch Times was swift, with three U.S. senators publicly questioning the social media platform—which in recent years has repeatedly found itself in hot water for acts of censorship—over its targeting of the news organization.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) demanded that Twitter “explain itself for this outrageous act of censorship.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) asked, “Where’s the respect for free speech and freedom of press, Twitter?”
“We all remember your biased censorship of [the New York Post] and how that ended for you,” he said.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) described the action by Twitter as “alarming.”
“Twitter is censoring [The Epoch Times] under the guise of ‘unsafe’ speech. Remember what happened the last time corporate media and big tech tried to censor my investigation on Hunter Biden corruption?” he wrote. “The truth always prevails.”
Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, described Twitter’s action as “an outrageous act of censorship.”
Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya called out Twitter’s suppression, writing: “It is perfectly safe to click through to the [Epoch Times] site in the quote tweet. For some reason, Twitter decided that today was a good day to suppress access to Epoch Times.”
Sex trafficking survivor Bleu, who was among the first to notice the censorship by Twitter because of its blockage of her interview with “American Thought Leaders,” posted a video condemning the platform’s actions that went viral.
It also created a stir among Twitter users, with many condemning the platform’s actions.
The Epoch Times wants to thank everyone who spoke out against this latest instance of censorship.
We will keep reporting the only way we know how, rooted in our tagline Truth & Tradition, without favor or fear. The fight for truth is one that has no shore and that is as old as the ages. We believe that only with brave individuals going the distance and striving to record the truth of what happens can the world have an accurate picture of events and history.