Twitter removes two Bolsonaro tweets questioning virus quarantine

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro gestures at a media statement announcing economic measures during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil, March 27, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 31 March 2020

Twitter removes two Bolsonaro tweets questioning virus quarantine

  • Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down

SAO PAULO: Two tweets by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in which he questioned quarantine measures aimed at containing the novel coronavirus were removed, on the grounds that they violated the social network’s rules.
The far-right leader had posted several videos in which he flouted his government’s social distancing guidelines by mixing with supporters on the streets of Brasilia and urging them to keep the economy going.
Two of the posts were removed and replaced with a notice explaining why they had been taken down.
Twitter explained in a statement that it had recently expanded its global rules on managing content that contradicted public health information from official sources and could put people at greater risk of transmitting COVID-19.
In one of the deleted videos, Bolsonaro tells a street vendor, “What I have been hearing from people is that they want to work.”
“What I have said from the beginning is that ‘we are going to be careful, the over-65s stay at home,’” he said.
“We just can’t stand still, there is fear because if you don’t die of the disease, you starve,” the vendor is seen telling Bolsonaro, who responds: “You’re not going to die!”
In another video, the president calls for a “return to normality,” questioning quarantine measures imposed by governors and some mayors across the giant South American country as an effective containment measure against the virus.

Brazil cannot stop or we’ll turn into Venezuela.

Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

“If it continues like this, with the amount of unemployment what we will have later is a very serious problem that will take years to be resolved,” he said of the isolation measures.
“Brazil cannot stop or we’ll turn into Venezuela,” Bolsonaro later told reporters outside his official residence.
On Saturday, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta highlighted the importance of containment as a means of fighting the coronavirus, which has already infected 3,904 people in Brazil, leaving 114 dead, according to the latest official figures.
“Some people want me to shut up, follow the protocols,” said Bolsonaro. “How many times does the doctor not follow the protocol?”
“Let’s face the virus with reality. It is life, we must all die one day.”
In the four videos posted on his Twitter account, Bolsonaro is seen surrounded by small crowds as he walked about the capital.
Bolsonaro has described the coronavirus as “a flu” and advocated the reopening of schools and shops, with self-isolation necessary solely for the over-60s.


Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

Updated 03 June 2020

Snapchat curbs Trump posts for inciting ‘racial violence’

  • “We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said
  • The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence

SAN FRANCISCO: Snapchat on Wednesday stopped promoting posts by US President Donald Trump, saying they incite “racial violence.”
“We are not currently promoting the president’s content on Snapchat’s Discover platform,” Snapchat said in response to an AFP inquiry, referencing the youth-focused social network’s section for recommended content.
“We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice by giving them free promotion on Discover.”
The move came after Twitter took an unprecedented stand by hiding a Trump post it said promoted violence, thrusting rival Facebook into turmoil for refusing to sanction false or inflammatory posts by the US president.
The decision was made over the weekend, during which Snapchat parent Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel sent a lengthy memo to employees condemning what he saw as a legacy of racial injustice and violence in the US.
“Every minute we are silent in the face of evil and wrongdoing we are acting in support of evildoers,” Spiegel wrote as companies responded to the outrage over the police killing of a black man in Minnesota.
“I am heartbroken and enraged by the treatment of black people and people of color in America.”
Snapchat will not promote accounts in the US that are linked to people who incite racial violence on or off the messaging platform, according Spiegel.
The Discover feature at Snapchat is a curated platform on which the California-based company get to decide what it recommends to users.
Trump’s account remains on the platform, it will just no longer be recommended viewing, according to Snapchat.
“We may continue to allow divisive people to maintain an account on Snapchat, as long as the content that is published on Snapchat is consistent with our community guidelines, but we will not promote that account or content in any way,” Spiegel said in the memo.
“We will make it clear with our actions that there is no grey area when it comes to racism, violence, and injustice — and we will not promote it, nor those who support it, on our platform.”
Snapchat is particularly popular with young Internet users, claiming that about half of the US “generation Z” population tapping into news through its Discover feature.