Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who does not specialize in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has become a controversial COVID-19 adviser in the White House and has been accused of advocating for measures that buck the advice of infectious disease experts.
Now, Twitter has deleted a tweet he sent that it said violated the company’s guidelines on misinformation.
NBC News’ Monica Alba noted on Sunday morning that Twitter flagged a tweet from Atlas that began “Mask work? NO.”
This tweet from Dr. Atlas, the medical adviser closest to the president right now, has been flagged by Twitter for violating its policies about misleading info. Atlas, a neuroradiologist who doesn’t specialize in infectious diseases or epidemiology, is often seen without a mask. pic.twitter.com/H07rVASwZD
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) October 18, 2020
In a separate tweet, Atlas said, “That means the right policy is [President Donald Trump’s] guideline: use masks for their intended purpose – when close to others, especially hi risk.”
That means the right policy is @realDonaldTrump guideline: use masks for their intended purpose – when close to others, especially hi risk. Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates. #CommonSense https://t.co/GZpBZxfNYa
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) October 17, 2020
“Otherwise, social distance. No widespread mandates,” he added.
CNN reported that Twitter flagged the tweet because it violated the platform’s policy about misinformation around COVID-19. The network also reported that the tweet was removed by Twitter.
Atlas told The Federalist that he was prevented from tweeting until he deleted the tweets.
While the tweet arguing that masks do not work was no longer visible on his timeline, the subsequent is still visible. However, he has not sent any tweets since Saturday.
Twitter updated its misinformation policy in May to state that it may remove tweets in “severe” cases of misinformation around COVID-19. In a blog post, the company said, “These warnings will inform people that the information in the Tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it.”
In recent months, the platform has become more aggressive in flagging tweets from President Donald Trump.
After Trump compared the coronavirus to the flu, Twitter flagged the tweet with a warning that said it violated “Twitter Rules about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”