Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) are asking Twitter to ban officials from the Chinese Communist Party from the platform to prevent them from spreading misinformation about COVID-19.
"By banning Twitter in China, the Chinese Communist Party is keeping its citizens in the dark. By putting propaganda on Twitter, the Chinese Communist Party is lying to the rest of the world," they wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
The virus originated in Wuhan, China.
"It is clear that Chinese Communist Party officials are using Twitter to disseminate propaganda in the midst of a dangerous global crisis," wrote the lawmakers. "Even worse, this propaganda obscures and confuses users over the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and potentially undermines efforts to contain and control the outbreak. We believe this behavior more than warrants their removal from the platform."
Twitter said last week that it would tighten its policies about coronavirus misinformation, banning "description of treatments or protective measures which are not immediately harmful but are known to be ineffective, are not applicable to the COVID-19 context, or are being shared with the intent to mislead others, even if made in jest." It also said that it would bar "false or misleading" information or "denial of scientific facts" about the virus.