Twitter on Thursday slapped a fact-checking label on a pair of tweets by a Chinese government official claiming that the US Army brought the coronavirus to the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The social networking company added a blue link that says, “Get the facts about COVID-19” to a post on Twitter by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao that was published on March 12.
“When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? It might be the US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan,” Zhao wrote on Twitter. “US owe us an explanation!”
Clicking on the blue fact-checking label directs readers to a page on Twitter with the headline: “WHO says evidence suggests COVID-19 originated in animals and was not produced in a lab.”
In another tweet that was also fact-checked by Twitter, Zhao encouraged his followers to read and repost an article he had linked to claiming the coronavirus originated in the US.
Twitter didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on why the fact-check labels were added to Zhao’s tweets this week when the posts were originally published in March.
Twitter’s flagging of Zhao’s tweets comes after it called a two of US President Donald Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots “potentially misleading” earlier this week.
In response, Trump threatened to shutdown social networks for allegedly censoring conservative speech. The US President also signedon Thursday that targets social media companies, including Twitter and Facebook, through a proposed re-examination of online platforms’ legal protections.
Social media companies have repeatedly denied they censor conservative speech, but Twitter’s fact-checking of Trump’s tweets have reignited a debate about whether they’re neutral platforms or publishers.
Both Twitter and Facebook have said they don’t want to be an “arbiter of truth.”
- Hamilton on Disney Plus review: A heartwarming hybrid of play and movie
- Astronomers discover a bizarre, naked planet in the ‘Neptune desert’
- Best prepared meal delivery services to use for 2020: Daily Harvest, Freshly, Home Bistro and more
- Consumer groups urge scrutiny of Google’s Fitbit buyout in letter to antitrust regulators
- The 45 best TV shows to watch on Netflix
- BBC Dad, meet BBC Mom: Two more cute kids crash live on-air interviews
- Fargo star Allison Tolman is ‘kind of killing it at quarantine’ by making curse word embroidered towels
- Here’s what the rumored Galaxy Z Flip 5G could look like
- Lincoln Continental luxury sedan ends its voyage in 2020