Amid the growing tension with US President Donald Trump over fact-checking his tweets, Twitter has now flagged a couple of tweets posted by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
According to media reports, the warning labels were added to tweets from spokesman Lijian Zhao, one of which read: “It might be the US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”
Twitter added the warning more than two months after the tweets were posted, reports The New York Times.
The warning tags are marked with a bright blue exclamation mark inside a circle, following with the text that reads “Get the facts about COVID-19”.
Once a user clicks on the link, it takes him to a page of tweets from the World Health Organization (WHO), which emphasises that the virus appears to have originated in animals in China, rather than a virus laboratory in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
Zhao’s another tweet that originated in March criticised the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for a lack of clarity, alleging that it “might be” that the US Army was somehow involved in the pandemic.
In another tweet, the spokesperson linked an article claiming to have evidence that the virus originated in the US.
A Twitter spokesperson said that Zhao’s tweets “contain potentially misleading content about COVID-19” and were labelled to “provide additional context”.
Two days after Twitter inserted fact-checks into Trump’s tweets, he hit back against social media platforms with an executive order on “preventing online censorship” and skewering Twitter for “political bias”.
Trump’s actions seek to blunt Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act which generally protects internet companies from legal liability for user comments.