Twitter announced late Monday night it suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account for 12 hours, saying some of Rep. Greene’s tweets violated the site’s policy on COVID-19 misinformation.
“We took enforcement action on the account @mtgreenee for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the Covid-19 misleading information policy,” the company said in an email.
One of Greene’s latest tweets Twitter labeled misleading claimed the virus “is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people under 65 account for nearly 250,000 of the U.S. deaths involving COVID-19.
According to Twitter’s strike system, this would be either strike two or three for Greene. Two or three strikes earn a 12-hour account lock, four strikes prompt a weeklong suspension, and five or more strikes can get someone permanently removed from Twitter.
The strike system uses a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify content about the coronavirus that is misleading enough to cause harm to people.
Taylor Greene’s suspension comes the same day President Joe Biden walked back a statement he said last week about social media giants “killing people” with misinformation.
“My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally, that somehow I’m saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine,” President Biden said.
Meanwhile, Twitter has defended its efforts to keep misinformation about COVID-19 off its site, saying it has removed thousands of tweets and challenged millions of accounts worldwide.
U.S. cases of COVID-19 last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall. Looking back at past spikes in cases, an increase in death is expected to follow. Much of the worsening problem is being driven by the delta variant first identified in India, that has since hit the United Kingdom and other countries hard.