Former Clinton Adviser Naomi Wolf: Big Tech Bans Leading to Self-Censorship

July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

The growing number of people banned from Big Tech platforms is leading to a wave of self-censorship, journalist Naomi Wolf says.

Wolf was banned by Twitter last month for allegedly sharing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Wolf told The Epoch Times that her account was frozen after she posted a video of her husband reading the resume of Dr. Ralph Baric, who received U.S. government funding to conduct gain of function research. She was banned after uploading a press release from Oregon Sen. Kim Thatcher’s bill that would ban vaccine passports and mask mandates.

“To me, if we’ve gotten to a point where a giant tech company, or even a little company, is silencing people who are providing first-hand sourcing for major, major news stories, or reading press releases from elected officials, that’s like not America anymore,” Wolf said on The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders,” adding that she believes she broke no rules.

Twitter’s statement that the ban stemmed from spreading misinformation is damaging to Wolf’s career and she accused the company of “singling out citizens and smearing them baselessly.”

Wolf joined former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Big Tech companies earlier this month.

Twitter has not responded to requests for comment.

Further, Wolf, a former adviser to ex-President Bill Clinton, believes the ongoing purge of voices that dissent from the dominant form of thought on COVID-19 and other issues, and the warnings some users receive before getting banned, is resulting in a climate of self-censorship and is reminiscent of emerging totalitarian societies.

Epoch Times Photo
Naomi Wolf attends “Pump” New York Screening at Museum of Modern Art in New York City, on September 17, 2014. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

“I’m Jewish, I’m allowed to say this, they totally did things like this in Germany, when it was still a fragile democracy. Like creating very vague laws, that if you broke the rules, you were in big trouble. But you could never really know what was going to trigger that breaking of the rules,” she said.

Wolf said the “chilling effect” her ban has had on other journalists is evident because some have reached out to her about it.

“I’ve gotten so many emails from other reporters saying, ‘I really admire you, I’m so sorry you were de-platformed.’ And when I would say ‘well, can you say that publicly?’ They universally said ‘I would, but I’m really afraid of being de-platformed.’ And I’ve seen the self censorship that has gone on in the wake of some high-profile de-platforming of journalists,” she said.

“I want us to remember what it means to be American. In America, right, there is no policeman telling you what feelings are appropriate or not appropriate. And I fear—yes, they’re a private platform, they can do what they want—but when the government uses our tax dollars to send a message that these tech companies will do their bidding and will target their enemies or their critics, in a way that chills debate. They’ve got around the First Amendment, and they’ve gotten around the Constitution, and that’s what we should look at.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
Jan Jekielek
Jan Jekielek
Senior Editor
Jan Jekielek is a Senior Editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, "American Thought Leaders." Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, & international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as Website Chief Editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film "Finding Manny."