Twitter on Monday suspended from its platform Rebekah Jones, a former Florida Department of Health data curator who made national headlines after being fired from the department for insubordination.
While it is unclear why Twitter suspended the account, the social media giant typically sidelines accounts after they violate “Twitter rules.”
Jones, who helped build the state’s online presentation of its COVID-19 data, garnered national attention a year ago when she sowed doubt about the information being reported by the state when Florida was an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.
She suggested Health Department managers wanted her to manipulate information to paint a rosier picture, and she pushed back.
Notably, the allegations thrust Jones into the spotlight and pitted her against Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. In the months since Jones’ termination, media outlets have jousted over her allegations.
The DeSantis administration released a statement applauding the suspension shortly after reports began circulating, POLITICO reported.
“This decision was long overdue,” the statement said. “Rebekah Jones is the Typhoid Mary of COVID-19 disinformation and has harmed hardworking DOH employees with her defamatory conspiracy theories.”
“I hope someone will ask Ms. Jones why she thinks she got suspended — will she allege that Governor DeSantis is somehow behind Twitter’s decision? That would be deeply ironic if she tried to spin that falsehood into her conspiracy theory, given the Governor’s stance on Big Tech.”
In May, Florida provided Jones whistleblower status. The status does not substantiate Jones’ claims. It does, however, provide her with avenues.
Under the state’s whistleblower rules, Jones could be reinstated or be eligible for compensation if an investigation finds her firing was in retaliation for the the concerns she raised.
This is a developing story.