Twitter isn’t shying away from banning more high-profile US politicians. As The New York Times reports, the social network has permanently banned Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account after a fifth “strike” for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Her official account is still active as of this writing because it hasn’t run afoul of Twitter’s rules.
It’s not clear what immediately precipitated the ban. Twitter spokeswoman Katie Rosborough said only that the company had “been clear” it would issue permanent suspensions for “repeated violations” of its COVID-19 misinformation policy.
Greene had faced an escalating series of bans over her inaccurate claims. She falsely claimed in July that COVID-19 wasn’t dangerous unless you were over 65 or obese, and in August incorrectly maintained vaccines were “failing” against the new coronavirus’ Delta variant. The posts respectively led to 12-hour and one-week suspensions.
In a statement, Greene said technology companies and Democrats “can’t stop the truth” and accused Twitter of hypocrisy in dealing with Democrats, calling Twitter an “enemy to America.” However, she signalled no intentions to challenge the ban and said only “we don’t need them.”
The crackdown comes just under a year after Twitter permanently banned former President Trump, and reflects the social media giant’s less forgiving attitude toward politicians in the past year — it’s willing to ban officials for violations rather than apply warning labels and otherwise avoid direct action. And while ban targets like Trump can start their own social networks or jump to anything-goes alternatives, there’s little doubt they’ll lose some online influence by getting kicked off mainstream platforms.