Twitter has slapped Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene with a temporary suspension, saying the Georgia Republican ran afoul of the site’s Covid-19 misinformation policy. Greene rejected the move as state-backed censorship.
Greene was given a 12-hour suspension on Monday night over at least two “misleading” posts, the New York Times reported, citing a Twitter spokesperson.
“We took enforcement action on the account @mtgreenee for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the Covid-19 misleading information policy,” the spokesperson said.
In the offending posts, shared on Sunday and Monday, Greene voiced a number of opinions and claims related to the pandemic, saying that “no entity should force non-FDA approved vaccines or masks” on the public, while deeming them a form of “human experimentation.”
The second missive argued that Covid-19 is “not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65,” with both posts earning a ‘misleading’ label from Twitter.
This is why no entity should force NON-FDA approved vaccines or masks.Instead help people protect their health by defeating obesity, which will protect them from covid complications & death, and many other health problems.We should invest in health, not human experimentation. https://t.co/I4zHqwabhi
— Marjorie Taylor Greene ?? (@mtgreenee) July 19, 2021
Greene responded to the temporary ban in a statement, accusing the Big Tech firm of “doing the bidding of the Biden regime to restrict our voices,” adding that Twitter is working to “prevent the spread of any message that isn’t state approved.” In separate comment to the Hill, she deemed her suspension a “communist-style assault on free speech.”
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Greene’s account remains live, but she will be unable to use it for the duration of the 12-hour ban. It was not her first suspension from the site, having been banned by “mistake” on at least two occasions due to errors with Twitter’s algorithms, the company claimed. She was also purposely suspended in January over violations of the platform’s “civic integrity” policies soon after supporters of then-president Donald Trump led a riot in the US Capitol.
Twitter’s policy governing Covid-19 disinformation prohibits any content that is “demonstrably false or misleading and may lead to significant harm,” including posts about the nature of the virus or “the efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease.”
The decision to suspend Greene comes amid a small surge in coronavirus infections in the US, with most new cases believed linked to the more contagious Delta variant first detected in India. While infections have fallen far below the level seen during the peak in January, when there were some 300,000 new cases each day, last Friday the country reported nearly 80,000 infections in a 24-hour period, a notable increase from June, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The move also follows President Joe Biden’s claim that social media platforms like Facebook are “killing people” by allowing misinformation to flourish. Though he walked the comment back on Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also noted in recent days that the administration is “flagging problematic posts” for Facebook to delete, suggesting the government is stepping up its pressure on social media firms to police user content.
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