Twitter takes down coronavirus tweets from John McAfee, David Clarke, and others

  • TheVerge
  • Twitter takes down coronavirus tweets from John McAfee, David Clarke, and others

Twitter has removed several tweets by prominent accounts that made misleading claims about the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the company says it’s following a “zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and any other attempts to abuse our service at this critical juncture.”

A Twitter spokesperson says the platform removed three posts by David Clarke, who tweets under the handle @SheriffClarke, because the tweets violated its policy against encouraging self-harm. All three of the tweets in question referred to the pandemic in some way, as noted by Jared Holt at watchdog site Right Wing Watch.

In one, Clarke linked to an article about bars and restaurants being ordered to close because of the novel coronavirus and added “Time to RISE UP and push back. Bars and restaurants should defy the order. Let people decide if they want to go out.” In another, he encouraged people to “get back to reasonableness” and “stop buying toilet paper,” and a third removed tweet suggested people “take to the streets.”

A March 4th blog post outlines Twitter’s policies “to protect the public conversation around Covid-19,” which includes a search prompt that delivers information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other government health organizations and a ban on ads that “opportunistically use the COVID-19 outbreak to target inappropriate ads.”

Twitter says it has not seen a significant coordinated platform manipulation around novel coronavirus issues, but plenty of individual Twitter accounts with high follower counts have been criticized for adding to the confusion. Actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out a later-removed image with incorrect information about protecting against contracting the virus.

Some accounts have posted coronavirus information of a more malicious nature, however. On Saturday, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) called out “blatant misinformation” in a tweet by programmer and businessman John McAfee, since deleted, in which McAfee incorrectly claimed that “Coronavirus cannot attack black people because it is a Chinese virus.”

A Twitter spokesperson did not have information about why McAfee’s tweet was deleted, but navigating to the tweet now brings up an error message: “This Tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter Rules.” McAfee’s account was still active as of Monday afternoon.

Rush wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking what they were doing to prevent the spread of inaccurate information during the novel coronavirus outbreak, seeking answers about what each is doing “to prevent misinformation from spreading” and “to ensure that race-based targeting and harassment are not allowed to propagate” on their respective platforms.

Rush’s spokesperson said, “Both companies have acknowledged receipt of the letter and are currently working on a formal response.”

Did you like this article? Why not check it out more from TheVerge!


Here's the latest news

Are you a business owner looking to design your e-commerce website to help generate more sales instantly? The sales, success, and usability of an e-commerce website depend on effective design. While it may seem daunting to think about designing your...

e-commerce symbol on a computer keyboard, black friday concept. 3d illustration

We live in a digital age. Everything is online these days and social media has taken over your life. While it’s nice that everything is online, it becomes a very noisy place to market. Most people have tuned out social...

Summer Sale Promotion Discount Banking Sell Concept

Online Games is a preferable activity you do to relieve your stress. However, many online game players still make mistakes that can give them more problems. So, here, we have several tips for you who want to play a judi online...

Team of teenage gamers plays in a multiplayer video game on pc in a gaming club.

Music is one of the most important aspects of life. There's a mystical power that only music has over the soul that ventures beyond words. Through the power of music, people come together and unite in ways that nothing else...

Happy hipsters dancing to the music at a music festival
Southern Clothes

What American Flag Clothes Really Reflects?

American flag clothes became a fashion that cannot be ignored, many people tended to wear the “Flag Type Clothing” lately, but have you ever asked yourself why would they do that? Most of the people feel proud when they wear...

Walking with American flag
Load More
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap