Twitter suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday for 12 hours after she violated the social media platform’s rules that prohibit sharing misinformation about the coronavirus.
“We took enforcement action on the account … for violations of Twitter rules, specifically the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” a Twitter spokesperson said, referring to Greene’s account.
The Georgia Republican has openly opposed the use of vaccines and mask mandates to slow the spread of the virus. In his tweets, published on Sunday and Monday, he incorrectly stated that the virus does not pose a threat to the health of people who are not obese or 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” related to the vaccine, have been labeled “misleading.”
Twitter rules have long banned misinformation about the coronavirus, especially tweets that contain false information that could lead people to harm themselves. In March, the company announced that it would start tag any tweet that may contain misleading information about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Twitter also announced that it would begin using a “strike” system. where two or three ads give users a 12-hour account lockout, four ads get a one-week account lockout, and five or more results in a permanent suspension of the social media site. If a tweet is deleted for being misleading, users will get two strikes; being tagged will get you a strike.
Twitter took the move after President Joe Biden asked 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 are killing people,” adding that “the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.”
Biden later, saying Monday that it is vaccine misinformation that “kills people,” not the company.
US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy also issued an advisory last week, saying that health misinformation is a “urgent threat“to the public amid the pandemic. White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said there are about a dozen people creating 65% of vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.
The congresswoman could not be immediately reached for comment.