Twitter Has Decided Not To Censor Supreme Court Justice’s False Claim

( In an op-ed at Fox News, Georgetown Law professor Jonathan Turley argues that Twitter’s zero tolerance for COVID “misinformation” takes aim only at skeptics while leaving COVID zealots alone.

Turley notes that after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor made two wildly inaccurate claims about the severity of COVID during last week’s oral arguments challenging Biden’s vaccine mandates, none of the people tweeting about her “misinformation” suffered punitive blowback from Twitter.

Sotomayor claimed during oral arguments that the Omicron variant is just as deadly as the Delta variant (it isn’t) and there were 100,000 children currently hospitalized for COVID, some on ventilators (there were fewer than 3,500).

What Sotomayor said clearly violates Twitter’s “disinformation policy” about COVID. But people were free to quote her in tweets without fear of retribution from Twitter.

Turley said Sotomayor’s statements were clearly untrue, noting that even the Washington Post fact-checker described them as “absurdly” false. However, Turley explains, exaggerating the risk from COVID, unlike downplaying the risks, doesn’t appear to be considered “harmful” by Twitter.

His conclusion is, “The social media companies target skeptics, not zealots.”

Turley isn’t arguing that Sotomayor’s false statements should be flagged or removed by Twitter, quite the opposite. He is arguing that nobody’s statements should.

If sharing Sotomayor’s false claims does not put a Twitter user in jeopardy of suspension, neither should sharing quotes from Donald Trump or sharing the results from a medical study that contradicts the proscribed COVID talking points.

Turley argues that if Twitter will allow Sotomayor’s lies to remain in place and allow its users to hash out the facts on their own, they should do the same for every contradictory or misleading statement.

“Free speech,” Turley writes, “has its own corrective element.” He notes that people on Twitter were perfectly capable of quickly correcting Sotomayor’s false statements.

He concludes the column by arguing for more Free Speech and less censorship, noting that Twitter’s tolerance of Sotomayor’s false statements should be applied to everyone else, both liberals and conservatives, both COVID skeptics and COVID zealots. The solution to misinformation, Turley explains is more information and more Free Speech.