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Twitter Is Locking People Fact-Checking Trump Out Of Their Accounts

The people are not trying to spread coronavirus misinformation — but to fight against it.

Posted on August 6, 2020, at 11:55 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump
Olivier Douliery / Getty Images

At least four people who attempted to debunk coronavirus misinformation that President Donald Trump said in a Fox & Friends interview were locked out of their Twitter accounts when they tweeted Trump's words. In the Wednesday interview, the president said children are "almost immune" to the virus — which is false.

“This is nuts, @TwitterSupport,” tweeted Aaron Rupar, an editor at Vox, who was one of the people Twitter locked out. “My account was locked for quoting and fact-checking Trump, and I was forced to delete this tweet. Why am I getting punished for shining a light on the president’s falsehoods?”

This is absolutely nuts, @TwitterSupport. My account was locked for quoting and fact-checking Trump, and I was forced to delete this tweet. Why am I getting punished for shining a light on the president's falsehoods?

Twitter / Via Twitter: @atrupar

Other people complained that they were locked out too.

For the *third* time in less than 12 hours, Twitter locked my account for coronavirus misinformation from Fox & Friends. This tweet was from this morning's show.

Twitter / Via Twitter: @revrrlewis

Twitter is now locking the accounts of people fact-checking Trump

Twitter / Via Twitter: @ParkerMolloy

@ParkerMolloy yup we got it too, had to remove this to access account


A Twitter spokesperson did not comment to BuzzFeed News about why the company locked these accounts.

Twitter tells CNN, “Accounts that shared the identical video may also be required to delete their Tweets as it's the video itself that violates our COVID misinformation policy.”

Twitter / Via Twitter: @donie

On Wednesday, Twitter hid the video of the Fox News interview on the Trump campaign’s official account and did not allow it to tweet until it was taken down for violating the company’s COVID-19 misinformation rules. (Facebook also removed the video from Trump’s official page on the platform.)

Despite the action this week, Twitter hasn’t been consistent with enforcing these rules. A tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk from March claiming that “kids are essentially immune [to the coronavirus]” is still up.

A Twitter spokesperson did not respond to a BuzzFeed News query about Musk’s tweet.

@RationalEtienne @PPathole Kids are essentially immune, but elderly with existing conditions are vulnerable. Family gatherings with close contact between kids & grandparents probably most risky.


A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.