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Musk reinstates account of GOP lawmaker banned for tweeting COVID misinformation

Under previous owners, Twitter had banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for multiple violations of policy, though she continued posting from her congressional account

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican-Georgia, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on November 17, 2022.  (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican-Georgia, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on November 17, 2022. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Elon Musk’s Twitter has reinstated the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, which was banned in January for violating the platform’s COVID misinformation policies at the time.

Greene’s reinstatement comes after Musk over the weekend reinstated the account of former US president Donald Trump, who was banned in the aftermath of the deadly January 6 riots on the Capitol in 2021. Twitter — at the time — feared there was a risk of further incitement to violence if Trump was allowed to remain on the platform. Trump himself has said he won’t return to Twitter and as of Monday had not yet tweeted since the reinstatement, although he also hasn’t deleted his account.

After the January ban, Greene blasted Twitter, saying it was “an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth… I’ll show America we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”

She continued to tweet, albeit from her congressional account.

On social media, she has voiced support for racist views, unfounded QAnon pro-Donald Trump conspiracy theories such as the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and calls for violence against Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Last February, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called her embrace of conspiracy theories and “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party.” The Democratic-led House that same month tossed her from her two committee assignments, the House Education and Labor Committee as well as the House Budget Committee.

This combination of file pictures created on November 18, 2022 shows Tesla CEO Elon Musk on March 14, 2019, Hawthorne, California and the Twitter logo outside their headquarters in San Francisco, California, on October 28, 2022. (Frederic J. BROWN and Constanza HEVIA / AFP)

Musk apparently based his decision to allow Trump back on the site on an unscientific Twitter poll he posted on his timeline. There appeared to be no such poll for Greene’s account. Earlier, Musk said he won’t make major decisions about content or restoring banned accounts before setting up a ” content moderation council ” with diverse viewpoints.

Musk has frequently expressed his belief that Twitter had become too restrictive. Before the US midterm elections this month, he urged his “independent-minded” Twitter followers to vote Republican.

One account Musk has said he won’t allow back on Twitter is that of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was banned in 2018 for abusive behavior.

“My firstborn child died in my arms. I felt his last heartbeat,” Musk tweeted Sunday in response to calls for Jones’ reinstatement. “I have no mercy for anyone who would use the deaths of children for gain, politics or fame.”

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