For The Record

Greene decries ‘arrogant puppet masters’ after Twitter permaban

By: - January 3, 2022 2:26 pm

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is banned from Twitter after the platform said she violated its rules on COVID-19 misinformation multiple times. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene fired back at Twitter Monday after the platform permanently suspended her account, finding her in repeated violation of its COVID-19 misinformation policies.

“The arrogant puppet masters should have learned over this last year that silly punishments like kicking me off committees and permanent Twitter bans don’t work on me, they only make me more determined, stronger, & effective,” the controversial Republican posted on Gab, a conservative Twitter alternative.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Twitter profile.

Greene’s colleagues voted to strip her House committee assignments shortly after she took office last year in response to threatening social media posts made before she was sworn in.

Greene said at the time that she had since stopped believing in conspiracy theories like QAnon, but her posts continue landing her in hot water. She was previously suspended from Twitter temporarily for spreading false information about masks and vaccines, most recently in August.

The final straw appears to have been a thread Greene posted Saturday in which she incorrectly concluded that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ publicly available Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System shows high levels of COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths.

VAERS is designed to help screen for potential adverse events caused by vaccines, but it has its limitations and should not be seen as an accurate tally, HHS says.

“While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness,” reads a disclaimer on the department website. “The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.”

Medical experts largely agree that the vaccines are safe and effective.

Greene also reported Monday that Facebook hit her with a 24-hour suspension over the same post.

“This is beyond censorship of speech,” Greene wrote on Gab. “I’m an elected Member of Congress representing over 700,000 US tax paying citizens and I represent their voices, values, defend their freedoms, and protect the Constitution. But apparently they too think the CDC managed #VAERS system on our own government websites are misinformation.”

Being barred from utilizing what’s become a vital campaigning tool would be a handicap for most candidates going into an election year, but Greene appears to remain largely popular among the conservatives in her northwest Georgia district, and her suspension hardly leaves her voiceless.

Her personal Twitter account had about 465,000 followers as of Jan. 1, but her congressional Twitter account remains active with about 395,000 followers, and she maintains a large presence on alternative social media as well. Her Gab account has nearly 337,000 followers, her GETTR account 551,000 and her Telegram has 161,000 subscribers.

Twitter and Facebook’s decisions to ban former President Donald Trump last year sparked conversations among some conservative leaders about the role big social media companies ought to play in shaping public discourse.

In Georgia, members of the House Science and Technology Committee held meetings last year and could recommend legislation for the 2022 General Assembly scheduled to begin next week.

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Ross Williams
Ross Williams

Before joining the Georgia Recorder, Ross Williams covered local and state government for the Marietta Daily Journal.Williams' reporting took him from City Hall to homeless camps, from the offices of business executives to the living rooms of grieving parents. His work earned recognition from the Georgia Associated Press Media Editors and the Georgia Press Association, including beat reporting, business writing and non-deadline reporting. A native of Cobb County, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Atlanta's Oglethorpe University and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.