American independent journalist Alex Berenson, a vocal critic of the US government’s pandemic response, sued Twitter after the company kicked him off the site for describing Covid vaccines as an advance therapeutic with risky side effects. The complaint, which got its first preliminary hearing in a San Francisco federal court on 28 April, could be a test case for how Twitter will handle content moderation under the ownership of Elon Musk.
Twitter tried to fend off a free-speech lawsuit on 28 April even as a federal judge asked if Elon Musk’s takeover might make the whole case moot.
“Your company has been taken over by a new owner, and your new owner may disagree with your position,” US District Judge William Alsup told Twitter’s lawyers at the hearing. “And I don’t want to have to spin my wheels and do a lot of work for nothing. So when is your new owner going to decide whether to continue with this lawsuit?”
The judge set a trial date as 8 May 2023.
Berenson began his anti-mask and vaccine mandate crusade last year, Daily Mail wrote, when an Op-Ed he penned for the Wall Street Journal claimed the pandemic had caused “a new age of censorship and suppression.” He was banned from Twitter over a tweet in which he stated that Covid vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of the virus.