Twitter says that alleged misinformation about the Wuhan coronavirus spread by Chinese Communist Party officials is perfectly in line with the platform’s terms of service, despite the fact that the company announced a platform-wide crackdown against misleading information about the Chinese virus last week.
A Twitter representative told the Daily Beast that the platform will not take action against the Chinese Communist Party as it makes an exception for government officials.
Via the Daily Beast:
Coronavirus disinformation spread by senior Chinese government officials does not violate Twitter’s terms of service, a spokesperson for the company told The Daily Beast on Monday.
The spokesperson pointed to language on its website, which gives wide latitude to statements from government officials. “Presently,” the company says, “direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on economic or military issues are generally not in violation of the Twitter Rules.”
Twitter’s statement comes shortly after two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rep. Mike Gallagher(R-WI) wrote a letter to the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, urging him to ban Chinese officials from the platform.
As Breitbart News reported earlier today, the lawmakers said that Chinese propaganda on social media was undermining global efforts to contain the Chinese virus.
“It is clear that Chinese Communist Party officials are using twitter to disseminate propaganda in the midst of a dangerous global crisis,” argued Sen. Sasse and Rep. Gallagher. “Even worse, this propaganda obscures and confuses users over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially undermines efforts to contain and control the outbreak. We believe this behavior more than warrants their removal from the platform.”
Twitter’s refusal to ban Chinese officials comes shortly after the platform announced it would ban ordinary users from the platform for a wide range of newly created virus-related terms of service violations, including certain types of jokes about the virus.
Ordinary users, it seems, are being held to a standard that Chinese Communist Party officials are not.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.