Twitter suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from its platform for twelve hours late on Monday night after the congresswoman’s posts violated the company’s policy on “misleading” information about the coronavirus, a move that comes days after President Joe Biden slammed social media companies for not doing enough to curb misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines.
Greene, who has been a vocal critic of mask mandates and vaccines as a means to combat Covid-19, tweeted on Monday that Covid-19 was not dangerous for people under 65, who were not obese, and said vaccines should not be required.
Twitter has allowed her posts to remain online but has labeled them as misleading.
The congresswoman’s account will be in “read-only mode” for 12 hours, which means she won’t be allowed to make any new posts during that time period.
Greene’s tweet comes at a time when Covid-19 cases are once again on the rise across the U.S. as the more infectious Delta variant of the virus takes hold and the uptake of vaccines begins to stall.
Georgia, the congresswoman’s home state, is now reporting on average 1,000 new Covid-19 cases a day compared to an average of around 340 cases a day exactly one month ago.
In a statement shared with the New York Times, Greene accused Silicon Valley companies of working with the White House to curb free speech and said: “These Big Tech companies are doing the bidding of the Biden regime to restrict our voices and prevent the spread of any message that isn’t state-approved.”
In March, Twitter unveiled its new rules for handling misinformation about Covid-19 which included a strike system. Under the rules, first strikes come with no account level actions, followed by 12-hour suspensions for the second and third strikes. A fourth violation will result in a week-long suspension and a fifth one leads to a permanent ban from the platform. Greene, it appears was hit with her second strike on Monday.
Last week, President Joe Biden called out social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for not doing enough to eradicate misinformation about Covid-19 and the vaccines from their platforms. When asked by a reporter what his message was for online platforms, Biden bluntly said: “They’re killing people.” The President said that the only pandemic happening in the U.S. no is “among the unvaccinated,” before reiterating that the platforms are “killing” those who choose not to get the vaccines. Biden softened his stance somewhat on Monday as he noted that particular users were responsible for spreading misinformation and not Facebook or the platforms themselves. But he urged the companies to do more to combat “the outrageous misinformation” being shared on their platforms.
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