by UnHerd Staff
Friday, 16
December 2022
Video
05:00

Jay Bhattacharya: What I discovered at Twitter HQ

Epidemiologist at the centre of the Twitter Files storm speaks out
by UnHerd Staff

After a whirlwind week, UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers caught up with Dr Jay Bhattacharya about his recent meeting with Elon Musk at Twitter HQ, and what he discovered about the Twitter Files.

Read the full article here.


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Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

I see my comment is now awaiting for approval. I presume there are other comments that are in the same boat. I have repeatedly suggested an article be commissioned regarding the monitoring practices on Unherd so that suggestions might be made to improve the position and discuss the pressures and limitations Unherd faces in this area and what might be done about them. Unfortunately, while happy to discuss censorship on Twitter and other media Unherd are oddly reluctant to discuss their own approach. As readers we are likely to be sympathetic and supportive provided we know exactly why Unherd are adopting the measures they do to deal with comments. Come on Unherd let us behind the curtain!

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I agree completely.
I stopped posting, and nearly gave up on Unherd altogether, after a prolonged period of comments disappearing or awaiting approval for many hours.
I’ve seen plenty of others in a similar situation.

I suspect some issues are down to the platform – highly downvoted comments will almost certainly be automatically flagged internally and need human intervention to reinstate them. Others seem to be the result of pre-moderation, which usually implied as such at the top of the comments section.

On one occasion, I had a post removed that corrected a factual inaccuracy in a certain writer’s article. Several other commentators had that occur, also on the same article.

This is a paid platform and there are very few posts (and fewer posters) that genuinely warrant intervention. Most downvotes appear to be from strong disagreement (personally I’d suggest people not do this ) rather than flame wars. This is a rare oasis on the internet where disagreement is seemingly allowed and it’s a good thing for it. Let’s keep it that way.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

To be placed on a “trends black list” simply for advancing perfectly rational arguments against the official line is a disgraceful example of secretly limiting the influence of valid points of view. It enables free speech but muffles those that adopt a line that Twitter regarded as deviant despite having no expertise in the subjects that they chose to limit the extent of discussion on.

They limited free discussion that might have resulted in improved policy decisions not only in respect of the response to covid but many other matters we are unaware of. A disgraceful abuse of power.

It is indeed fortunate that Elon Musk intends to end this malign regime of undercover suppression of alternative points of view.

Joanne Gerber
Joanne Gerber
1 month ago

Great interview! What an eye opener. Thanks.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
1 month ago

Thank you

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

Appreciated reading that. To separate key issues – freedom of speech and then the doctors specific Covid views.
On the former – my baseline is you should be able to convey pretty much anything you want so long as it does not incite violence. Of course if you express twaddle you should expect to have that pointed out, regardless of how much you think your view is ‘your truth’. The question then is what rule should apply to a privately owned entity which people have the choice not to use or read? It becomes slightly more complicated. We don’t insist the printed press publish views they do not support, but Social media has ‘reach’ we are only still coming to terms with. It thus does feel inevitable legislation in this area will be further required. We can’t just leave it to the Owners whether we like Elon or not.
As regards Bhattacharya, whilst in no way defending his exclusion from Twitter important some of his utterances during the Pandemic get called out for the simplistic nonsense they were. For example the GBD suggested we magically separate the healthy young from the older, vulnerable. He never said how you’d determine these categories and how you’d do the actual separation, and of course the mechanics of doing this would have just created a different form of top-down social control. Possibly better than full Lockdowns but he never gave any details. I think somebody at the time retorted his idea was akin to someone who’s anti-crime saying the answer is to ‘lock up all the bad guys’. Hmm well if that’s as far as your engagement with actual Policy goes…
We’re going to get a test-case in what happens with some of these theories in China over the next few weeks/months. As expected the CCP has closed down publication of positive tests as it moves away from Zero-Covid, but I understand data that western companies and intelligence can discern is showing significant slow-down in population movement in the big cities. Suggestive of some panic? Let’s see how this plays out.