Twitter temporarily suspended Marjorie Taylor Greene for COVID misinformation
Twitter suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday for 12 hours after she violated the social media platform's rules prohibiting the sharing of coronavirus misinformation.
"We took enforcement action on the account ... for violations of the Twitter rules, specifically the COVID-19 misleading information policy," a Twitter spokesperson said, referring to Greene's account.
The Georgia Republican has been an outspoken opponent of using vaccines and mask mandates to curb the spread of the virus. In her tweets, posted Sunday and Monday, she incorrectly stated that the virus doesn't pose a threat to the health of non-obese people or those under 65 years of age. The virus has killed more than 600,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins.
The tweets, which also referred to false claims of high death rates and "many other health problems" linked to the vaccine, have since been labeled "misleading."
Green's suspension from the social media platform lifted Tuesday. In a tweet, she accused Twitter of censoring her and violating her freedom of speech.
Greene couldn't be reached for additional comment.
Twitter's rules have long banned misinformation about the coronavirus, especially tweets containing false information that could lead people to do harm to themselves. In March, the company announced it would begin labeling any tweets that may contain misleading information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Twitter also announced it would begin using a "strike" system in which two or three strikes earn users a 12-hour account lock, four strikes gets a week-long account lock and five or more results in a permanent suspension from the social media site. Having a tweet deleted for being misleading will earn users two strikes; being labeled gets one strike.
Twitter took the action after President Joe Biden called on social media companies to do more to curb the spread of misinformation about the virus. When asked about his message to platforms like Facebook, Biden said Friday that "they're killing people," adding that "the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated."
Biden later walked back his criticism, saying Monday that it's vaccine misinformation that's killing people, not the company.
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory last week, saying health misinformation is an "urgent threat" to the public amid the pandemic. White House press secretary Jen Psaki had also said there are about a dozen people creating 65% of the vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.