Twitter locks The Federalist’s account over coronavirus ‘chickenpox parties’ tweet

Twitter locks The Federalist’s account over coronavirus ‘chickenpox parties’ tweet

Twitter briefly locked down the conservative website on Wednesday The federalist government explain why people are deliberately exposing themselves to the new coronavirus. The federalist promotes the medically unhealthy idea of ​​”chickenpox medical holidays” to infect young people and healthy people with the virus under controlled quarantine.

The tweet was deleted for violating social media platform policies, and a Twitter spokesperson said The edge that “the account has been temporarily locked for violating Twitter rules regarding COVID-19”.

Twitter bans coronavirus content which “goes directly against the guidelines of authoritative sources of global and local public health information.” This includes tweets promoting ineffective or counterproductive treatments, denying the effectiveness of measures such as social distancing, or contradicting known facts in public health.

The federalist Tweeted an article in which an Oregon doctor urged readers to “seriously consider a somewhat unconventional approach” to the pandemic. But “unconventional” is a bit of an understatement. The hospital system is overworked even without deliberate infections, and unlike chickenpox, we do not know how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts. In other words, hosting a “chickenpox party” against coronaviruses is a very bad idea.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global deadlock and thousands of deaths, as well as economic chaos. America has the third largest number of confirmed cases, after China and Italy. Congress is trying to mitigate economic harm with a recovery plan.

President Donald Trump has chronically downplayed the risk of coronavirus infection and has made falsely rosy statements about new treatments and vaccines, recently alarming experts suggesting that restrictions on social distancing cease by Easter Sunday. Other Republicans have downplayed the threat or argued that some Americans should accept an increased risk of death to let the country exit the lock. Social media platforms need to decide when these statements could have a negative effect on the response to a larger pandemic, sometimes provoking anger in the process.

Earlier this week, the blogging platform Medium deleted an article from technologist and former member of Mitt Romney’s campaign team, Aaron Ginn. Ginn said the response to COVID-19 was motivated by “hysteria” or “crowd-like fear”. A spokesperson for Medium said The edge that Ginn’s essay violated the rules against “controversial, suspicious and extreme content“, Which cover distorted or pseudoscientific arguments that could have serious social repercussions.

“Every day we remove posts related to coronaviruses that violate our rules,” said the spokesperson.

Twitter also slapped a warning on the article when it was later republished elsewhere, telling readers who clicked the link that it was “potentially harmful or associated with a violation of the Twitter terms of use.”

The Ginn’s Medium article did not fit the stereotype of misinformation publications on social media, which often incorporate alarmist exaggerations, overtly fabricated facts or miracle scams. But critics like Carl Bergstrom, professor of biology at the University of Washington city ​​of logical leaps who painted a misleading – but widely quoted – portrait of the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal Editorial committee, however, criticized Medium’s decision and urged the platforms to “not demand compliance with the judgment of expert institutions, even though many of these institutions themselves sadly misjudged the situation months or months ago. weeks “.

Facebook also recently released advice for COVID-19 hoaxes and disinformation, by drawing a line around the content that could “contribute to imminent physical damage”. This includes statements like saying that social distancing isn’t working – something Facebook says it recently started removing. It does not include more abstract claims such as “conspiracy theories on the origin of the virus”, which are not considered to be immediately harmful, but may be downgraded and signaled by a warning label, like others. false information on the platform.


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