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Twitter suspends Arizona Republican Party head's account week before primary

Published: August 2, 2020
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Social media platform Twitter notified Kelli Ward, chairwoman of Arizona’s Republican Party, that her account had been suspended for seven days because she shared a COVID-19-related video about the benefits of hydroxychloroquine as a prevention measure that's been widely panned as misinformation.

The suspension Tuesday means the party head is muted in the week leading up to the Aug. 4 primary.

“Big tech giants have proven time and time again that they care little about our First Amendment rights, and instead value monolithic, manufactured consensus above all else,” she said in a statement. “While Democrat politicians and dishonest news journalists wasted three years pushing the debunked Russia collusion narrative, legitimate election interference can be seen right here in America, due to the arbitrary and draconian policies enforced by Silicon Valley. And, with one week to go until Arizona’s primary election, suspending the chairwoman’s account – thereby limiting our ability to reach her more than 80,000 Twitter followers – hinders our ability to communicate with voters, encourage Arizonans to get out vote, and silences an important conservative voice in our state.”

Her offense appears to be sharing the same video that resulted in the temporary suspension of other prominent Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr. She also posted the video to Facebook, which was removed, but party officials say her account there was not suspended.

Congressman Paul Gosar, R-Peoria, responded to the temporary suspension.

“The danger is not in minority science or medical opinions,” he said Tuesday. “The danger is shutting down opposing views. Today’s medical heresy is tomorrow’s mainstream standard of care. It has worked that way under the scientific method for generations.”

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