Rebekah Jones, Former Florida Department of Health Analyst, Suspended by Twitter

Former Florida Department of Health data analyst Rebekah Jones was suspended by Twitter on Monday. The company hasn't commented, but Jones told a journalist the move came because of her "overzealous" sharing of an article on the platform.

Jones was fired last year from her position as the dashboard manager of the Florida Department of Health after raising questions about the state's coronavirus response. She said she was instructed to alter data to protect the reputation of Governor Ron DeSantis' administration. But the department said she was terminated for repeatedly violating an agency policy regarding communication with the media.

Jones told E.W. Scripps reporter Forrest Saunders that she anticipates her account will be reactivated soon.

According to Saunders, Jones said the article she was suspended for came from the Miami Herald. The story, which was published June 4, details her firing from the department, as well as a police raid on her home last December, during which authorities confiscated a personal phone and a laptop. She was later charged with a third-degree felony for illegally accessing a computer system.

On Monday, the Herald wrote about her Twitter suspension in an online article, which it also shared on the social media platform. It captioned the tweet: "JUST IN: Rebekah Jones, who formerly maintained Florida's COVID-19 dashboard but was fired last year when she rebelled after the duty was taken away from her, was suspended Monday from Twitter for 'platform manipulation and spam.'"

JUST IN: Rebekah Jones, who formerly maintained Florida's COVID-19 dashboard but was fired last year when she rebelled after the duty was taken away from her, was suspended Monday from Twitter for "platform manipulation and spam." https://t.co/uLlBTAoPZA

— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) June 7, 2021

The new Herald article said Jones had "repeatedly shared" the June 4 story on Twitter. Jones sent a screenshot to the Herald that reportedly shows Twitter notified her that it had received her appeal regarding the state of her account.

Jones told the Herald Monday, "It was clearly an auto-lock feature against spamming. Should be back up soon."

DeSantis' office released a statement following the news that Twitter suspended Jones. The statement read, in part: "This decision was long overdue. Rebekah Jones is the Typhoid Mary of COVID-19 disinformation and has harmed many hardworking DOH employees with defamatory conspiracy theories."

The statement added: "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?"

Newsweek contacted Twitter and DeSantis' office for comment but did not hear back before publication.

This story was updated on June 7 at 3:05 p.m. to include more information on Jones' suspension on Twitter, as well as background about the police raid on her house.

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Former Florida Department of Health data analyst Rebekah Jones said she was suspended by Twitter because of her "overzealous" sharing of a Miami Herald article on the platform. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images