Censor politicians when it comes to false information

Politicians should be held accountable when spreading misinformation

By Niyatee Jain

Republican congresswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had her personal account banned on Twitter after spreading misinformation about COVID-19 on Jan. 2, according to BBC. Greene’s suspension highlights an emphasis on holding politicians accountable for telling lies to further their political agenda. 

Since the beginning, COVID-19 has become a political issue furthering the divide between the Republicans and Democrats. Under the Trump Administration, Republicans favored relaxed safety policies, and Trump, himself, downplayed the extent of the pandemic, according to NPR. This created serious problems for the American people as Trump followers refused to follow COVID-19 protocols and endangered the lives of many citizens, a fact Trump knew would happen. 

Trump managed to build a cult-like following inside the Republican Party, where followers like Greene emerged. For example, Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee tweeted “If the booster shots work, why don’t they work?” according to CNN.

REP GREENE TWITTER BAN: Greene was rightfully suspended from Twitter after tweeting an inaccurate graph of deaths after the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CNN. (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Misinformation and misleading the general public is the exact reason to support the censorship of Rep. Greene. It is wrong to allow a person in power to disillusion followers into believing an opinion which only supports their political stance and is scientifically inaccurate. The American people are not pawns in the game between Democrats and Republicans. They should not be fed propaganda that will only hurt them in the long run.

However, there have been talks about how media censorship of politicians could violate First Amendment rights, according to Vox. The main question is whether tech companies such as Twitter should be allowed to suspend accounts like they did with Rep. Greene’s. The answer is yes, because the people should know factual information which can help keep them safe instead of inaccurate facts potentially harming them in the long run.

Higher COVID-related deaths are occurring in pro-Trump counties because of misinformation, according to NPR. To allow the same people who spread lies to have a platform is disheartening, especially when the pandemic itself is not and should never be a political issue. 

Cases like Rep. Greene’s are not new as Trump himself was banned from the platform last year. However, it raises a more pressing issue of politicians using their large platform to brainwash the American people from conforming to their political ideals, because what is the point of freedom if our own representatives are using us as pawns in their own game?