Beauty Myth author Naomi Wolf suspended from Twitter after sharing vaccine disinformation

Author Naomi Wolf, long renowned as a respected feminist author, is accused of have become an online conspiracy theorist

Alice Hutton
Saturday 05 June 2021 19:41 BST

Naomi Wolf was famously caught live on air, being told that her new book and PhD thesis had been debunked

The controversial American author and anti-vaxxerNaomi Wolf has been suspended from Twitter after spreading misinformation.

The 58-year-old writer with more than 140,000 followers was suspended by the social media giant on 4 June following months of questionable posts including that vaccines let you “travel back in time”.

Some Twitter users marked the move by posting some of their favourite tweets from her, including when she called Belfast in the 1970s during the Troubles “peaceful” and her horror at a stuffed teddy bear promoting a Covid-19 vaccine.

Others posted jokes that she was banned for being “too stupid” for the site or that “Twitter got vaccinated against Naomi Wolf.”

A respected third wave feminist writer, in the 1990s she wrote a critically acclaimed book, The Beauty Myth, and went on to become a political adviser to President Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

But around 2013 she started to become better known for promoting conspiracy theories online, including questioning whether ISIS execution videos were real and suggesting whistleblower Edward Snowden may be a government plant. 

The author went viral in 2019 when several major errors were discovered in her newly published book Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love, in which she misinterpreted a legal term in records about the execution of men convicted of sodomy in Britain, affecting the thesis for the whole work.

She was told of the errors live on air with BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinkingprogramme.

Following the outbreak of the pandemic she styled herself a “Covid truther”, complaining about lockdowns being tantamount to “Jim Crow laws”, that masks were preventing children from knowing how to smile and called Covid adviser Dr Anthony Fauci “satan”.

She has been a guest on media shows with far-right hosts including Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon.

In April the Pan American Health Organisation warned that misinformation was behind vaccine hesitancy and called it “one of the most serious threats to public health.”

Rosie Boycott, member of The House of Lords and co-founder of Virago, Wolf’s publisher, told Business Insidershortly before the suspension:  “I find her transition horrifying. The moment she lost her grip on the intelligentsia because of a lazy error she had to find a new world to fit into where facts don’t matter and that’s the world she has gone to. Of course, she would become a superstar within it.”

Dr Wolf, who holds a PhD in the since undermined thesis from her book, Outrage, announced her next book would reportedly be based on America’s response to Covid.

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