As we continues to approach the 2020 election’s panicky conclusion, social media has been playing a much larger role than many of us had imagined that it would.
Sure, Twitter and Facebook are some of the speediest ways to invoke a reaction among a massive swath of the population at once, and we’ve always known that they were going to be powerful tools in the election, but we may not have been able to fathom the extent to which the medium has driven the dialogue.
This week was particularly testy online after a rather troubling story about Hunter Biden was broken by the New York Post. Within hours, Twitter had begun unceremoniously removing tweets that contained a link to the article in question. When the text of the article was then shared via a “.gov” domain, Twitter began censoring that as well. This led to a great deal of criticism for Twitter, and the possibility of a congressional subpoena for the company’s CEO.
Over the weekend, Twitter again made a controversial disciplinary decision, this time against a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.
The tweet was replaced with a notice which said, “This tweet is no longer available,” adding a link to Twitter’s rules and policies explaining why certain posts are removed.
The now-deleted tweet, posted by Dr. Scott Atlas on Saturday, according to NBC News, read, “Masks work? NO: LA, Miami, Hawaii, Alabama, France, Phlippnes, UK, Spain, Israel. WHO:”widesprd use not supported” + many harms; Heneghan/Oxf CEBM:”despite decades, considerble uncertainty re value”; CDC rvw May:”no sig red’n in inflnz transm’n”; learn why.”
Atlas wrote in a second tweet that day that the “right” policy is Trump’s guideline: “use masks for their intended purpose, when close to others, especially high risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates.”
Dr. Atlas has been a constant victim of criticism for his stance on coronavirus precautions, particularly from Democrats who are looking to attack any and all things relating to Donald Trump.
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