Twitter Blocks Tweet About Masks From White House Coronavirus Team Adviser

21 Octobre, 2020, 06:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Mandel Ngan  AFP via Getty Images

Twitter has removed a tweet from White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Scott Atlas that sought to undermine the importance of face masks because it was in violation of the platform's Covid-19 Misleading Information Policy, a spokesman for the company confirmed on Sunday.

Atlas told the AP that Twitter's actions were censorship.

Over the weekend, Atlas tweeted "Masks work?"

In a subsequent tweet, Dr. Atlas made it clear he was not arguing against masks, but instead was saying they are only effective in situations where one is around people at a high risk of getting Covid-19, or where one can not social distance. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates.

Twitter stated that the tweet violated the social media company's rules on disputed or misleading information: "If we determine a Tweet contains misleading or disputed information that could lead to harm, we may add a label to the content to provide context".

Atlas told Newsweek that "he didn't understand why Twitter had deleted his tweet, which included abbreviated citations of multiple sources, some months old, on the effectiveness of widespread mask wearing".

The message pushed by the controversial neuroradiologist goes against guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don't live in their household, especially when other social distancing measures are hard to maintain.

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Dr. Atlas is a neuroradiologist and a Robert Wesson senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who joined the coronavirus task force in August.

He has previously been critical of top USA infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, advocating for the full reopening of schools and speaking out against lockdown measures.

His new hiring has sparked concern in the scientific community, as more than 100 of Atlas' former colleagues at Stanford Medical School signed a letter warning that many of his "opinions and statements run counter to established science".

In an interview with Business Insider earlier this month, the doctor said that he thinks the criticism "stems from people who are either politically motivated or are interested in maintaining their own stature in the public eye".

Earlier guidance from USA officials didn't recommend widespread masking, but in April, the CDC recommended face coverings for the general public given that people without symptoms could unknowingly transmit the virus.

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