Conservative troublemaker Charles C. Johnson was temporarily booted off his favorite platform on Tuesday.
Johnson’s Twitter account was suspended after he posted the street address of someone he said had been exposed to the Ebola patient in Dallas. When asked for comment after the suspension, Johnson directed TPM to a post on gotnews.com, the website he launched earlier this year.
In it, Johnson said he posted the woman’s address because he has a “responsibility” to keep his readers informed “about public health risks, especially when the media will not.” Although he said he would contest the suspension (Twitter offers an appeals process), Johnson said he was actually grateful for the punishment.
“In the hours or days before Twitter restores my account I’ll have more opportunities to focus on Gotnews.com and my book which is due later this month,” he said in the post. “My wife will be pleased that I don’t have the time suck of Twitter to distract me from other pursuits.”
The time away didn’t last long. By late-afternoon on Tuesday, Johnson’s account was restored, and he described his return as a win for the First Amendment.
Score one for the First Amendment! Guess who’s back? #ebola
— Charles C. Johnson (@ChuckCJohnson) October 7, 2014
Twitter rules prohibit users from publishing or posting “other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.”
A former contributor at the Daily Caller, Johnson has planted his flag in the middle of some of the year’s biggest stories, jumping from the Mississippi Senate runoff to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and, most recently, to the Ebola outbreak.
A prolific tweeter, Johnson spent much of Monday night on the social media platform criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for a lack of foresight on Ebola’s arrival in the United States.
When someone questioned his authority on the matter, Johnson defended his expertise, noting that he’s built rockets since the age of six — although he told TPM on Tuesday that the tweet was “kind of a joke.”
“I was making fun of people who think that you need a MD to have an opinion on how bad something was done,” Johnson said in an email.
This post has been updated.