Twitter fact-checks China amid bias row

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The warning has been added to tweets from spokesman Lijian Zhao, in which he warned: “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”

Twitter fact-checks China amid bias row

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Twitter added the warning more than two months after the tweets were posted.

It comes amid a row with the White House, after similar warnings were added to tweets from President Trump.

Mr Trump is now poised to sign an executive order targeting social-media firms, the White House said, in a significant escalation of the dispute.

Earlier this week, after Twitter added its fact-checking links to President Trump’s tweets, he threatened to “shut down” social networks for alleged anti-conservative bias.

The warnings on Lijian Zhao’s tweets were added after the US developments.

One tweet, from 12 March, criticised the US Centers for Disease Control for a lack of clarity before alleging that it “might be” that the US army was somehow involved in the Wuhan outbreak.

In another tweet the following day, he linked to an article claiming to have evidence that the virus originated in the United States, encouraging people to read and retweet it – which thousands did.

Both tweets now contains a bright blue exclamation mark urging readers to “Get the facts about Covid-19”.

Clicking it directs the user to a page of tweets about the World Health Organization’s research that suggests the virus originated in animals, and downplays theories about deliberate human involvement in its spread.

The New York Post, which broke the story, said Twitter had added the warning only after its reporters put pressure on the company over alleged “double standards” between the Chinese official and Mr Trump.

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A Twitter spokesperson would not confirm whether that was the case, saying only that Mr Zhao’s tweets “contain potentially misleading content about Covid-19” and were labelled to “provide additional context”.

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Source : BBC | Photocredit : Google

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