USA TODAY International Edition
Twitter suspends Rep. Greene over tweets it calls misleading
Twitter said it had suspended the account of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for 12 hours, and she accused the company of censorship when she returned.
The social media platform suspended Greene, R- Ga., about 9 p. m. EDT Monday for violating its policy after she posted two misleading tweets about COVID- 19.
Greene returned to Twitter shortly after 9 a. m. EDT Tuesday and criticized the platform, saying it censored her and violated “my freedom of speech.” She compared Twitter to “Communist China.”
Greene’s tweets Sunday and Monday said the coronavirus wasn’t dangerous for people under age 65 and those who are not obese, and said vaccines should not be required.
“We took enforcement action on the account @ mtgreenee for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the COVID- 19 misleading information policy,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement.
According to Twitter, Greene’s 12hour ban was her second strike for repeatedly sharing misinformation about the virus to her nearly 426,000 followers. Greene will get a similar 12hour ban if she gets a third strike. The platform will suspend her for seven days if she gets a fourth strike. Greene could be banned from Twitter if she gets a fifth strike.
Greene’s tweets still appear on her Twitter account but with a “misleading” tag.
Greene’s tweets come as COVID- 19 cases across the U. S. continue to climb, with the delta variant now accounting for more than half of the nation’s new infections. Last week, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data determined that all 50 states reported more COVID- 19 cases in the most recent seven- day period than in the week before – a 70% spike.
A little less than half of the U. S. population, 48.4%, is fully vaccinated, and a little more than half, 55.9%, has had at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Earlier, President Joe Biden criticized social media platforms, saying they should do a better job of fighting the spread of vaccine misinformation on their sites. Biden was hoping to have 70% of American adults at least halfvaccinated by July 4, but the U. S. failed to meet his administration’s goal.
The president softened his criticism of Facebook, days after he stirred controversy and said the world’s largest social network is “killing people” because of vaccine misinformation the tech giant allows to circulate on its platform.
“Facebook isn’t killing people,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question Monday. “These 12 people who are out there giving misinformation – anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it.”
In March, Twitter said it was taking a tougher stance on pandemic misinformation for repeated violations of its policy, including a 12- hour suspension. This included a brief suspension of Greene’s account in April, but Twitter later said that it was a mistake due to an automated error.
Twitter said it has “challenged 11.7 million accounts, suspended 1,496 accounts, and removed more than 43,010 pieces of content worldwide.”