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January 23, 2023

Big Pharma Covid Vaccine Manufacturers Pressured Twitter To Censor Activists... Calling for Generic Versions of the Vaccine

These people weren't spreading vaccine hesitancy.

They were calling for a low-cost generic competitor to Big Pharma's vaccines.

So, obviously, they also had to be censored.

BioNTech -- makers of the Pfizer vaccine -- contacted a lobbyist for Twitter in Euope named Nina Morschhaeuser to tell them of an emergency: an activist group in Europe was planning a pressure campaign to get Big Pharma to share its vaccine patents so that the vaccines could be made cheaply by other countries.

Well, obviously, that's some kind of Threat or something.

This got spun into "fake accounts" and "hacking" threats, the sort of thing Twitter would respond to. Morschhaueuser dutifully relayed the warning to her colleagues at Twitter, sounding the alarms for battlestations.

"The authorities are warning about 'serious consequences' of the action, i.e. posts and a flood of comments 'that may violate TOS' as well as the 'takeover of user accounts' are to be expected," wrote Morschhaeuser. "Especially the personal accounts of the management of the vaccine manufacturers are said to be targeted. Accordingly, fake accounts could also be set up."

...

Morschhaeuser, while alerting several site integrity and safety teams at Twitter, forwarded on an email from BioNTech spokesperson Jasmina Alatovic, who asked Twitter to "hide" activist tweets targeting her company's account over a period of two days.

Morschhaeuser flagged the corporate accounts of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca for her colleagues to monitor and shield from activists. Morschhaeuser also asked colleagues to monitor the hashtags #PeoplesVaccine and #JoinCTAP, a reference to the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, a program promoted by developing countries to accelerate the development of vaccines through the equitable sharing of research and manufacturing capacity. She noted that the group Global Justice Now was spearheading the action with an online sign-up form.

She's asking her fellow Twitter employees to monitor all these political accounts on behalf of Big Pharma.

Fang says it's "not clear" what action, if any, Twitter took on behalf of BioNTech; he doesn't have full access to all of Twitter's emails. His deal is that he can request a search for emails with keywords, and hope that he gets all the emails responsive to that search.

I'm guessing that Twitter did not actually censor anyone, though they probably did monitor, as a compromise. I don't think they'd be quick to censor an obviously left-wing cause, and not when the people asking for it are so transparently self-interested.

Asked for comment, BioNTech essentially said "f*** off." They gave a nonresponsive answer that did not touch the actual question about their attempt to get Twitter to interceded against a political campaign they didn't like, instead saying, that BioNTech "takes its societal responsibility seriously and is investing in solutions to improve the health of people regardless of their income." Well la-di-dah.


Corporations have speech rights, you know.

It's just citizens who don't.

Now I actually do think that BioNTech does have the right to attempt to bully another corporation into acting as its censor. This isn't a government acting to bully a corporation while it publicly threatens punitive regulation against it if it doesn't get what it wants. You know, what David French calls "jawboning."

But it's a close call, given that Pfizer was a government partner corporation through this period. (I should find out the German for "partner corporation."_

And all of this is going on with monopoly speech platforms. Monopoly. Behind our backs.


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posted by Ace at 03:30 PM

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