Read Time: 2 mins
by David Connett, The Guardian
June 5, 2021
The author Naomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after using it to spread myths about the pandemic, vaccines and lockdown.
Wolf, who wrote the influential feminist work The Beauty Myth, holds staunch anti-vaccine views. Last month she told a US congressional committee that vaccine passports would “re-create a situation that is very familiar to me as a student of history. This has been the start of many, many genocides.”
As the pandemic continued, the author variously claimed that vaccines were a “software platform that can receive uploads” and that “the best way to show respect for healthcare workers if you are healthy and under 65 is to socialise sensibly and expose yourself to a low viral load”.
In her most recent post, she argued that “vaccinated people’s urine/feces”(sic) needed to be separated from general sewage supplies/waterways until its impact on unvaccinated people via drinking water was established.
Her suspension was widely applauded on the social media platform. One tweet read: “Thanks, @Twitter, for finally suspending Naomi Wolf for spreading harmful and floridly delusional anti-vax disinformation.” Others observed: “Never forget. Naomi Wolf’s suspension could not have come any sooner.” Another said: “Congratulations to Naomi Wolf who is I think the first person to be banned from here for being too stupid.”
The award-winning author Steve Silberman, who is a historian of autism, said: “I’ve been reading vile anti-vaccine propaganda for 20 years, and Wolf’s claims were as out-there and delusional as I’ve ever seen.”
Some supporters criticised the ban, claiming it was the result of US government pressure and a blow to free speech, and called for her account to be reinstated. Twitter has said the suspension is permanent and no appeal will be allowed.
The Twitter ban is just the latest in a series of controversies in which the author and former adviser to US vice-president Al Gore has become embroiled. Claims made by Wolf in her latest book Outrages, born of her Oxford PhD research into same-sex relationships in the Victorian era, were publicly demolished in a BBC interview which exposed the fact that she had made serious research mistakes about the punishments for homosexuality in Victorian Britain.
In other unsubstantiated claims, Wolf has said the US military was importing Ebola from Africa with the intention of spreading it at home, and that US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden might be a government plant.