Twitter has permanently suspended the account of Rebekah Jones, the former dashboard manager for the Florida Department of Health who falsely claimed she was ordered to alter raw data in order to make the state’s coronavirus response look better.
Jones initially claimed she was fired from her role as a dashboard manager over her refusal to alter the state’s COVID data to protect the reputation of the DeSantis administration, but public records obtained by National Review‘s Charles Cooke show that she never had access to the raw data in the first place — and was in fact fired for repeated performance failures and insubordination.
After being confronted with her own personnel records, Jones admitted that she was “never” asked to delete information on coronavirus deaths from the public dashboard and went so far as to say she had never claimed otherwise, despite the existence of numerous tweets and other public statements in which she clearly accused her superiors of ordering her to cover up the true number of COVID deaths in Florida.
Jared Moskowitz, the Democratic former head of Florida’s emergency management department, said Jones was running a “disinformation campaign” about the state’s coronavirus response in comments to Politico.
However, a Twitter spokesperson said Jones’s account “was permanently suspended for violations of the Twitter Rules on spam and platform manipulation,” in a statement to National Review.
Governor Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw alleged that Jones was suspended for buying followers and “hijacking” other accounts.
Rebekah Jones was NOT “censored” by Twitter for anything she posted. She was suspended because she broke a clear rule against buying followers (platform manipulation) and — all evidence points to this — hijacking the accounts of unsuspecting users to make them follow her. pic.twitter.com/ubRxmXZAxw
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) June 7, 2021
“She was suspended because she broke a clear rule against buying followers (platform manipulation) and — all evidence points to this — hijacking the accounts of unsuspecting users to make them follow her,” Pushaw wrote on Twitter.
DeSantis applauded the suspension in a statement on Monday.
— Matt Dixon (@Mdixon55) June 7, 2021
“This decision was long overdue. Rebekah Jones is the Typhoid Mary of COVID-19 disinformation and has harmed many hardworking DOH employees with her defamatory conspiracy theories,” DeSantis’s office said in a statement.
Editor’s note: this article has been updated to include a statement from Twitter.