Microblogging site X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday withheld the account of hepatologist Cyriac Abby Philips – known on social media as The Liver Doc – in compliance with an order by a Bengaluru court.
A message on the social media website said that Philips’ account was withheld “globally in response to a legal demand”.
The account of Philips, known as TheLiverDoc on X, was suspended after pharmaceutical and wellness company Himalaya Wellness filed a defamation suit against him. The company accused the physician of posting false derogatory statements about its products in order to promote the products of rival companies Cipla and Alchem.
The Bengaluru court held that based on the facts presented by Himalaya Wellness and previous judgements of the Supreme Court and High Courts, there was a need to issue an ex-parte order directing the removal of Philips’ posts. An ex-parte order is one that is passed without all the parties to a litigation being present before the judge.
The court ordered Philips not to post any tweets against the company till the next date of hearing on January 5, 2024. It also ordered X to suspend his account till that time.
Shortly before his account was withheld, the hepatologist had accused Himalaya Wellness of shooting the messenger as it did not have any proof to explain the reasons behind its “deficiencies” and “lackadaisical publications”.
Philips has a large following on X as he posts frequently on health-related misinformation. He has often faced criticism and abuse for his posts questioning the claims of alternative medicine systems such as ayurveda, homeopathy and unani.