Facebook blocked representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account for 24 hours on Monday for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. one day after Twitter permanently banned one of their accounts for a similar message.
Ms. Greene, a Republican from Georgia, had incorrectly posted about “extremely high levels of Covid vaccine deaths.” She released the news on Saturday as part of a long post on American life “Before Covid” and “After Covid” and questioned public health measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including testing, masking and vaccination requirements.
On Monday morning, Ms. Greene posted a screenshot of a Facebook message on the alternative social messaging platform Telegram that said, “You cannot post or comment for 24 hours,” citing a violation of Facebook’s community standards.
“A post violated our guidelines and we removed it, but removing your account for violating it is beyond the scope of our guidelines,” said Aaron Simpson, a Facebook spokesman, in a statement.
The social network has increasingly changed its content policies over the past two years as the coronavirus has increased in December 2020 that it would remove posts with allegations debunked by the World Health Organization or government agencies.
Facebook blocked Ms. Greene’s personal Facebook account, on which she published the news about vaccines. The company kept their verified government account active. Twitter, which said it suspended Ms. Greene’s personal account after she went on a fifth “strike,” also kept her government account active.
Ms. Greene’s post cited misleading information from a government database of unaudited raw data called Reporting system for adverse vaccination events, or VAERS, a decades-old system based on self-reported cases from patients and healthcare providers.
Aside from a rare blood clotting disorder related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no evidence of widespread serious side effects from the coronavirus vaccines Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Last month. There have been at least nine disease-related deaths in the United States last year, leading the agency to recommend the use of other approved vaccines instead.
The VAERS database, maintained by the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC, has been cited in many coronavirus falsehoods to promote the idea that coronavirus vaccine side effects have not been adequately reported. An overview of the VAERS database on the FDA website that the VAERS reports “in general cannot be used to determine whether a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or disease”.