Twitter Bans Coronavirus Claims That Cause ‘Harmful Activity’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey
Getty/ Drew Angerer

Twitter has once again broadened its rapidly-growing set of rules specific to the Chinese virus, this time banning statements that cause “harmful activity,” with a specific focus on posts about 5G network infrastructure.

In an update to its list of coronavirus-specific rules made yesterday, Twitter said it would ban any “unverified” claims that “incite people to action.”

“Unverified claims that incite people to action, could lead to the destruction or damage of critical infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder, such as ‘The National Guard just announced that no more shipments of food will be arriving for two months — run to the grocery store ASAP and buy everything’ or ‘5G causes coronavirus — go destroy the cell towers in your neighborhood!'”

Twitter did not explain what separates a verified from an unverified claim.

In a tweet from its official account, Twitter also emphasized the danger of damage to “critical 5G infrastructure.” Concern over the alleged effects of 5G cellphone towers has led to some towers being attacked and disabled.

Twitter’s list of coronavirus-specific rules continues to expand. Since the global crisis began, Twitter has banned “misleading and potentially harmful content,” even promising to ban people who tell the wrong coronavirus jokes.

As Breitbart News reported in March, Twitter will ban:

  • Denial of established scientific facts about transmission during the incubation period or transmission guidance from global and local health authorities
  • Specific claims around COVID-19 information that intends to manipulate people into certain behavior for the gain of a third party with a call to action within the claim, such as “coronavirus is a fraud and not real – go out and patronize your local bar!!”
  • Claims that specific groups, nationalities are never susceptible to COVID-19
  • Claims that specific groups, nationalities are more susceptible to COVID-19
  • False or misleading claims on how to differentiate between COVID-19 and a different disease
  • Propagating false or misleading information around COVID-19 diagnostic criteria
  • Specific and unverified claims that incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder
  • Specific and unverified claims made by people impersonating a government or health official or organization
  • Denial of global or local health authority recommendations to decrease someone’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19

Twitter has even gone so far as to take down videos from the populist President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, because they showed him discussing the need to balance economic concerns with public health ones.

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


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