Twitter has removed a tweet by left wing activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, where he had claimed that masks are not effective in preventing the spread of Novel Coronavirus. On 10th April, Bhushan had posted a tweet with a link to a hypothesis published on Sciencedirect on the use of facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the tweet, Bhushan had said, “The data suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block transmission of viral and infectious disease such as COVID-19. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects”. He had added this text from the quoted report, asking his followers on Twitter to “read this detailed study on Masks”.
Soon after he had posted this anti-mask tweet, he was widely criticised on Social media by users of all ideological leanings, including left-wing personalities. Many people had reported the tweet as spreading misinformation. As a result, Twitter removed the Tweet later in the day, saying that it violates Twitter Rules.
Now when one goes to the link of the tweet, the tweet does not appear, but a message appears, saying “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.”
It may be noted that the study by Baruch Vainshelboim was published on Sciencedirect in January this year, and the same report was published in November last year on the website of National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, which is funded by the US government. The study is based a large number of previously published scientific studies. The ncbi website is under the .gov domain, which means that it is a US govt website.