The alternative news site Zero Hedge has been permanently blacklisted from Twitter. The account had more than 650,000 followers at the time of its suspension from the platform.
A Twitter spokeswoman told Breitbart News that Zero Hedge’s account has been permanently banned for violating its “platform manipulation” policy. No further details were given.
A spokesman for Zero Hedge strongly rejected Twitter’s allegation.
“We have no idea about platform manipulation, nor have we ever engaged in anything of the sort. We appealed a violation against ‘abuse and harassment’ which we assume is related to the Buzzfeed article.”
The ban occurred shortly after BuzzFeed published a story accusing Zero Hedge of “doxing,” or revealing the personal identity, of a Chinese scientist accused of playing a role in the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
The Wuhan coronavirus, a new viral infection that causes pneumonia, has infected more than 10,000 people — most in China — since the start of the year, with 258 confirmed deaths.
Describing Zero Hedge as both “pro-Trump” and “far-right,” BuzzFeed says it “claimed without evidence that a scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology created the strain of the virus that has led the World Health Organization to declare a global health emergency.”
Zero Hedge did indeed publish an article about a scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a laboratory in the same Chinese city that saw the start of the outbreak. Zero Hedge noted that the laboratory recently called for applicants to help study “bats to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases.”
Because of this, Zero Hedge asserted a link between the virology institute and the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Both the name of the scientist and details about his and the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s work studying coronaviruses was publicly available on the internet, and circulating widely on social media prior to Zero Hedge’s article.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.