The account was put on “read-only” mode for 12 hours, which according to Twitter’s rules happens “if it seems like an otherwise healthy account is in the middle of an abusive episode.”
The 12-hour suspension is the shortest of Twitter’s read-only penalties, which its website says can range from 12 hours to seven days, “depending on the nature of the violation.” Greene’s account had violated the misinformation policy multiple times, according to Twitter.
Greene tweeted Monday that the novel coronavirus was “not dangerous for non-obese people and those under 65.” More than 600,000 people in the United States have died of covid-19.
She also made claims about vaccine-related deaths and side effects, calling the coronavirus vaccines “controversial.”
In another tweet, Greene falsely claimed “defeating obesity” would protect people from covid-19 complications and death.
Twitter added a warning to both tweets, labeling them as “misleading.”
Greene said in a statement that the suspension was “a Communist-style attack on free speech.”
President Biden said last week that social media companies were “killing people” by allowing misinformation about the novel coronavirus and vaccines to spread on their platforms.
“Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And they’re killing people,” he said.
After Facebook pushed back, Biden clarified his comments but said “instead of taking it personally,” Facebook should focus on “the outrageous misinformation” about vaccines that was spreading on its platforms.
Biden’s comments came shortly after Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued an advisory about health misinformation online, which he said had caused some Americans to avoid vaccines or masks, leading to “avoidable illnesses and death.” He called on tech companies to invest in addressing misinformation on their platforms.
Amid a recent rise in coronavirus cases in the United States, experts have noted the vast majority of new cases are in unvaccinated people — even though health authorities have been toiling for months to make vaccines easily accessible for anyone who is eligible.
Last week, an Arkansas mother who had avoided getting herself and her 13-year-old daughter vaccinated said she wished she “would’ve made better choices for her” after her daughter was hospitalized with covid-19. She said misinformation had stopped her from getting vaccinated.
Greene was suspended from Twitter twice earlier this year, but the company said those suspensions were mistakes made by its automated content review systems.
Felicia Sonmez contributed to this report.