Twitter announced Sunday it has permanently suspended the personal account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for violating the platform’s Covid-19 misinformation policies, clamping down after numerous warnings to the outspoken politician over her repeated and spurious claims about the pandemic and vaccines.
The Key Facts
A statement SME, Twitter said it “permanently suspended” Greene’s personal account (@mtgreenee) for “repeated violations” of its Covid-19 misinformation policies.
The platform—which operates a five-strike system with escalating punishments for each infraction of the misinformation policies—confirmed Greene received her fifth strike, which results in permanent suspension.
While it is unclear precisely what tweet prompted Greene’s ban—the account is now blank—the congresswoman reportedly promoted a conspiracy that the federal government is ignoring “extremely high amounts of Covid vaccine deaths,” based on a database of reported vaccine side effects (VAERS), according to a screenshot seen by the Independent.
Experts say the VAERS database is unreliable because it relies on voluntary and unverified public reports, some of which may not be accurate or relevant to vaccines in question.
Greene previously received previous strikes for posts falsely claiming coronavirus vaccines were “failing” and that Covid-19 is only dangerous to the obese or elderly.
Twitter said Greene’s Congressional account (@RepMTG) will remain active as tweets from it have not violated the platform’s rules.
In a rebuttal on messaging platform Telegram, Greene decried an apparent double standard used to assess her content and that of other politicians and figures on Twitter, and said Twitter “is an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth.”
The Key Background
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been challenged to take more steps to stop the spread of misinformation online. Although the social media platforms have been known for removing posts from their sites and banning users who share misinformation or conspiracies with them, some people accused them not being open enough about the extent of the problem. Twitter increased its efforts to combat Covid-19 misinformation and explained some of its policies in March. It also added warning labels for posts that contained misinformation.
Greene’s suspension comes almost a year after Twitter banned former President Donald Trump following the January 6 insurrection. The platform said Trump’s tweets risked inciting further violence and supported those who falsely believed he won the presidential election.
Twitter Bans Trump Permanently (SME).
Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She’s ‘Removing’ Holocaust Comparisons From Her Past Rebukes Of Covid Measures (SME)
The Most Influential Online Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation (NYT).
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