Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican whose provocative postings on social media have made her one of the most controversial members of the U.S. Congress, has been permanently excluded from Twitter after she repeatedly posted incorrect information about the pandemic.
The sanction against Georgia’s outspoken congresswoman follows Twitter’s efforts to put its app back in the spotlight, almost a year after its ban on the then president. Donald Trump a storm of protest touched from the right.
Twitter announced the ban on Greene on Sunday, the day after she posted a tweet about what she claimed were “extremely high levels of Covid vaccine deaths”.
The company said it launched its policy on Covid-19 misinformation last year after seeing “persistent conspiracy theories, alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research or credible reporting, and a wide range of false narratives and unfounded rumors” that could prevent people to make informed decisions and jeopardize them.
It launched an escalating system of punishments, called “strikes”, against offenders. The most severe sanction – a life-long ban – is imposed for a fifth strike, or case of spreading false information.
Twitter launched a fourth strike against Greene last August, leading to a 7-day ban, when she falsely tweeted that the vaccines “failed”.
The ban applies to Greene’s personal Twitter account, @mtgreenee, but leaves her official congressional account, @RepMTG, untouched. “We were clear that, according to our strike system for this policy, we will permanently suspend accounts for repeated violations of the policy,” the company said.
Taylor Greene on Sunday issued a statement on the Telegram application in which she condemned what she claimed was a failure by Twitter to take action against Democrats who violated his policies. She added: “I stand by the truth and the people. We will win! ”
Twitter’s action follows repeated Republican calls for an end to Article 230 of the Communications Procedure Act, which gives online companies legal protection when removing content. They claim social media companies used it to prevent Republicans from speaking openly while favoring Democrats.
Democrats also called for amendments to Article 230, albeit for conflicting reasons, arguing that the provision should be tightened to make companies liable if they no longer act aggressively against misinformation and abuse on their sites.