Twitter Leaving Conversation Surrounding Origins of Coronavirus Up to Government Officials

The origin of the coronavirus is a conversation that has been at the center of the crisis, and Twitter is leaving that up for debate among government officials.

The social media platform provided an update to its rules on Monday evening, including guidelines for official government accounts to follow.

“Official government accounts engaging in conversation about the origins of the virus and global public conversation about potential emergent treatments will be permitted, unless the content contains clear incitement to take a harmful physical action,” Twitter said.

Twitter recently expanded its definition of harm, according to the website.

“Broadening our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information,” the statement reads.

The updated rules come shortly after Twitter announced it would be cracking down on misinformation surrounding the coronavirus. The company explained the types of tweets that would meet the criteria for removal, as IJR previously reported.

Those tweets include “denial of expert guidance, encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques, and misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities.”

President Donald Trump has been vocal about where he believes the virus originated. He has stood by his statements calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” as IJR previously reported.

Trump responded to reporters pressing him on why he uses the term.

“Because it comes from China, it’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate,” Trump said during a press briefing.

He has faced backlash for his comments, but on Tuesday, he responded by calling for the protection of Asian Americans, as IJR previously reported.

“It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world,” Trump tweeted.

Published in IJR