Jun 9, 2021 - Politics

Twitter's suspension of fired Florida data scientist marks a win for Gov. Ron DeSantis

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Twitter suspended the account of Rebekah Jones earlier this week — a win for Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Washington Post reports.

What happened: Jones, a fired health department worker whom the state recognized as a whistleblower last month, had her account suspended for violating "spam and platform manipulation" rules.

  • Representatives for DeSantis' office told the Post that the suspension was "long overdue," calling Jones "the Typhoid Mary of COVID-19 disinformation" and "a super-spreader of COVID-19 disinformation."

Why it matters: Two weeks ago, the governor signed legislation aiming to limit how social media companies moderate their content online.

  • At the time, he described the bill as a recourse for Florida residents who think they've been unfairly treated by tech companies.

The other side: State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami) acknowledged that dissonance, tweeting "So @GovRonDeSantis AGREES with Twitter suspending accounts but only when he agrees with them??"

What's next: Jones announced that she plans to run against U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is reportedly potentially facing obstruction of justice charges in a federal sex crimes investigation, in Florida’s 1st congressional district.

  • She made that announcement on Instagram, where she has not been banned.
  • Worth noting, via Florida Politics: Jones is currently a Maryland resident and has not officially filed any paperwork to jump into the race.

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