Coronavirus: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Wed Aug 10 20:21:40 PDT 2022

Twitter Suspends Russian Foreign Ministry Account For COVID Origins Theory

Twitter has temporarily frozen the official English-language account
of the Russian Foreign Ministry for a period seven days, reportedly
for an August 4th tweet blaming the United States for the coronavirus

The offending tweet stated that "the U.S. and its allies in Ukraine
and elsewhere" might be "involved" in the "emergence of COVID-19." A
Tuesday statement from the Kremlin condemned the Twitter crackdown as
but another attempt to censor the Russian government perspective.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the move as
"another clumsy attempt to shut us up" while saying Russia's assertion
was made based on "documents and fresh data" - but that the US social
media company doesn't have the competence to review and judge it.

The initial accusation particularly focused on the alleged actions of
the US Agency for International Development, or USAID, under director
Samantha Power.

While the tweet is still visible online, a warning label has been
added by Twitter stating that it violated its rules on "sharing false
or misleading info that might bring harm to crisis-affected

The last tweet that the verified Russian MFA account sent was Aug. 4 -
thus the account has likely been blocked and unable to tweet since

More broadly this follows the US and European Union banning Russian
state TV networks, particularly the international news channels RT and
Sputnik - actions taken by YouTube as well.

This has occurred as communications between Moscow and Western
governments have broken down as well, and in many cases has involved
the tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats. In general, the atmosphere has
become such that it's harder for journalists and/or much of the
Western public to accurately gauge the Kremlin perspective or
statements on any given issue.

The @mfa-russia account is likely to go active again within the coming
days, given it seems its already spent several days under the punitive
Twitter suspension.

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