Twitter’s bias and inconsistencies in applying its rules and standards are getting ridiculous.
While Chinese government mouthpiece Zhao Lijian – who accused the U.S. military of being the source of the Wuhan virus outbreak – remains on the platform spouting propaganda, American users are being censored or shut down over alleged coronavirus “misinformation,” and for running afoul of the Left’s transgender agenda.
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who have become online celebrities with their entertaining pro-Trump duologues as “Diamond and Silk,” found their account blocked Wednesday after Twitter said they violated their rules, because they supposedly misled the public about public policy and how people should respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment,” the rule-breaking tweet said. “Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!”
Seriously? A statement equivalent to the quasi-health advisory from your mom to “get off your video games and go play out in the fresh air!” is dangerous?? Doesn’t Twitter have more threatening false content about the Wuhan virus to police?
Apparently not, according to Oxford University research, which found that 59 percent of posts that fact-checkers determined were false remained on the social media platform.
Twitter announced in mid-March that “We have broadened our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information.” However the “guidance” coming from the likes of the FDA, CDC and WHO (the World Health Organization, which often acts as an amplifier for Chinese propaganda) is often a moving target: don’t wear masks, then wear masks; wear gloves, then don’t wear gloves; we project 100,000-200,000 deaths, then revise it down to half that. This is in addition to recent reports that health officials are reporting many deaths as caused by COVID-19, even if the victim had other threatening medical conditions and had not even been tested for the virus.
Yet it’s much worse than that. According to a Fox News report yesterday, Twitter is leaving be disinformation that is months old and clearly untrue. One example is a Jan. 14 tweet from the WHO: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.”
And besides the previously mentioned Zhao, many other accounts run by the Chinese government propaganda machine still operate on Twitter. Another cited by Fox News was the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, which tweeted a month ago, “Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus is originated from China, let alone ‘made in China.’”
U.S. media companies have also become parrots for much of China’s disinformation as well, even on Twitter. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pointed out an NBC tweet on Tuesday that reported, “U.S. reports 1,264 coronavirus deaths in over 24 hours. Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new coronavirus death was reported.” For that, Cruz said NBC should have to register as a foreign agent.
The coronavirus is not the only recent example of Twitter’s absurd inconsistency in applying its rules. The platform shut down the account of nonprofit Internet news service LifeSiteNews, which is “dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family,” reporting from a conservative/traditional perspective. The violation that caused Twitter to lock their account was the site’s reference to a radical transgender activist in a news article, and related tweet, by his biologically correct male pronoun, rather than his preferred female pronoun. As LifeSiteNews explained:
Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv is a man who “identifies” as a woman, and a Canadian transgender activist most recently in the news for admitting to possession of a prohibited weapon he brandished in a debate. Yaniv rose to infamy last year for filing 16 complaints against local beauticians who offer bikini waxes to actual women but have refused to wax his male genitals, then for seeking permission from the Township of Langley, British Columbia, for “LGBTQ2S” groups to hold topless-optional swimming parties for “all people aged 12+,” with parents and guardians barred from attending.
On December 5, 2019, LifeSite published a report titled, “Trans activist Jonathan ‘Jessica’ Yaniv ‘shocked…confused’ gynaecologist won’t see him.” LifeSite tweeted a link to the piece four days later, and subsequently received a notice that its account would be locked until the tweet was removed. (LifeSite’s sister account for Catholic stories remains active.)
Twitter didn’t specify which rule LifeSite’s tweet supposedly violated, but the social media giant declared earlier last year that “misgendering” someone – i.e., referring to individuals by their actual sex instead of their claimed “gender identity” – automatically constitutes “hateful conduct.”
LifeSiteNews said it filed three appeals with Twitter to get its account restored, but has received nothing other than automated stock responses. The site’s editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen, and Media Research Center president Brent Bozell have co-written an open letter calling on Twitter to unlock the account. Copies were sent to Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. House and Senate Judiciary Committees.
“While Twitter is deactivating the accounts of organizations that tell the truth about potentially dangerous sex offenders such as Yaniv, Twitter is simultaneously and knowingly allowing other entities that are engaging in illegal behavior, such as human sex trafficking to stay on the platform,” the letter said.
So refusing to kowtow to the radical transgender agenda and accede to its every demand constitutes an offense worthy of de-activation, as does homespun advice about dealing with the Wuhan virus while many of the “experts” are getting it wrong. Meanwhile communists, propagandists and deviants get free reign to insult and harm on the platform.