Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2020

Last month, Twitter did something striking and almost unprecedented: It deleted two tweets from a world leader.

The social media platform removed the posts — both from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — because they violated a new company policy on disinformation involving the global Covid-19 health crisis. One showed him defying the rules of isolation advocated by his own health minister and the World Health Organization; in the other, he defended the controversial use of an unproven drug to treat Covid-19.

Under Twitter’s new policy, anyone caught denying established facts about the disease, propagating false or misleading information, denying scientifically established facts, or posting alleged cures for Covid-19, will have their tweets deleted.

Bolsonaro, a far-right politician, had long sought to deny or minimize the dangers of Covid-19 and encouraged businesses to remain open to save the economy. In early March, for instance, the president called the pandemic a “fantasy” and “hysteria.” On March 20 and again on March 24, he described Covid-19 as a “little flu.”

Bolsonaro isn’t alone.

Full article at Undark’s website. Date of publication: 18/04/2020.

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