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Twitter gives Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a timeout over COVID tweets

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wears a "Stop the Steal" mask while speaking with fellow first-term Republican members of Congress, on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, January 4, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wears a "Stop the Steal" mask while speaking with fellow first-term Republican members of Congress, on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, January 4, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Twitter is giving US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene a 12-hour timeout, saying some of her tweets violated the social media site’s policy against misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

Twitter suspends the Republican from Georgia after US President Joe Biden urged tech companies to take stronger action against bogus claims about vaccines that are “killing people.” Twitter has defended its efforts to keep dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 off its site, saying it has removed thousands of tweets and challenged millions of accounts worldwide.

Greene appears to have been disciplined under the “strike” system Twitter launched in March, using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify content about the coronavirus that is misleading enough to cause harm to people. 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.

“We took enforcement action on the account @mtgreenee for violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically the Covid-19 misleading information policy,” the company says in an email.

One of Greene’s latest tweets that Twitter labeled misleading claimed that the virus “is not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65.” According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people under 65 account for nearly 250,000 of the US deaths involving COVID-19.

Greene has in the past likened vaccination outreach to Nazi-era thugs. She has apologized for comparing coronavirus protections to Holocaust-era restrictions on Jews.

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