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Twitter temporarily suspends Russian Foreign Ministry’s account after Moscow blamed COVID-19 on USAID

Source: Meduza

Twitter reportedly froze the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official English-language account for seven days in response to a tweet by the agency on August 4 claiming that “the U.S. and its allies in Ukraine and elsewhere” may be “involved” in the “emergence of COVID-19.” (Making these allegations, Russia’s MFA singled out the U.S. Agency for International Development.) The tweet is still available online, though Twitter has added a warning stating that it violated its rules on “sharing false or misleading info that might bring harm to crisis-affected populations.”

In a Telegram post on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called Twitter’s decision “another clumsy attempt to shut us up,” arguing that the American social media company lacks the competence to judge the conclusions Russia’s Defense Ministry reached based on “documents and fresh data.”

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