The pro-life religiously conservative LifeSiteNews has been locked out of its Twitter account for an article that profiled the rise in STDs among homosexual men.
The article in question, "Why HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea are rising among homosexuals," was written in 2014 and focused on statistics provided by the CDC and The New York Times. Four years later, on October 18, the social media giant Twitter locked LifeSiteNews from its account for "hateful conduct."
Written by Dr. Gerald M. Nadal, a molecular biologist and microbiologist who is also president and CEO of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, the article primarily argued that the rise in STDs among homosexual men was due to a spike in unprotected sex further aided by the fact that infected individuals were keeping their sexual partners in the dark about their condition.
Nadal was countering an article in Bloomberg News at the time, which argued that the sudden spike in STDs among homosexual men was due to homophobia, not sexual activity. "Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S., mostly in men who have sex with men (MSM), a trend the government said is linked to inadequate testing among people stymied by homophobia and limited access to health care," Bloomberg News stated.
Later in the Bloomberg article, the director of the CDC's STD prevention division was quoted as saying that men who have sex with men will seek "confidential services because they’re too embarrassed to see their primary care doctors."
Nadal later noted homosexual men comprised just 2% of the population but were overrepresented in the STD rates. According to The New York Times, this was largely due to homosexual men having a disproportionate amount of unprotected sex.
Nadal concluded that homophobia could not be the driving cause behind the spike in STD rates for homosexual men but rather "a suicidal impulse from within." As proof, he cited a 2006 study that showed "sixty percent of homosexual men failed to report their serostatus to all partners, compared to thirty-four percent of heterosexual men, and twenty-seven percent of women." Some more statistics:
- Thirty-seven percent of those Asymptomatic with HIV failed to disclose their status to every partner.
- Forty-six percent of those Symptomatic with HIV failed to disclose their status to every partner.
- And a staggering fifty-one percent with full-blown AIDS diagnosis failed to disclose their status.
Nadal's article remained on LifeSiteNews for four years until Twitter blocked their account on Thursday because the headline violated "our rules against hateful conduct" while promoting violence, threats, and harassment against "other people on the basis of [...] sexual orientation [...], or serious disease."
No explanation has been given as to what exactly set off the ban nor has Twitter specified the ban's duration.
"The only recourse offered was for LifeSite to remove the tweet or start an appeal process," reports the outlet. "For the moment, LifeSite staff cannot post to or otherwise operate @LifeSite in any way."
Steve Jalsevac, co-founder and president of LifeSiteNews, said the ban was "total intolerance" in line with Silicon Valley's "totalitarian mindset."
"This total intolerance for even reporting government health dept statistics that reveal the health dangers of homosexual activity betrays what Peter Thiel, himself a homosexual, previously called a totalitarian mindset in Silicon Valley," said Jalsevac. "Twitter is now trying to force news agencies to report only what is acceptable to their personal, biased views and shutting down balanced, factual reporting on the homosexual issue."
"This is getting dangerous for our democracy since a free press is one of the basic and necessary foundations for a genuinely democratic society," Jalsevac warned. "This is getting scary. It is in everyone’s interest to fight this type of action and even demand government intervention to protect our rights."
LifeSiteNews has now launched a petition urging that Twitter lift the ban.
Also this week, Twitter announced it would not be banning Nation of Islam founder Louis Farrakhan for a tweet in which he compared Jews to termites.
That tweet still remains and has not been blocked, though the minister did lose his verified status earlier this year for tweeting about "the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan."