alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Trump defenders Diamond and Silk were locked out of Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway speaks with social media personalities and live-stream video bloggers Diamond and Silk (Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson) Thursday, July 11, 2019, during the Presidential Social Media Summit in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

Fox Nation hosts Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, better known as Diamond & Silk, were temporarily locked out of Twitter on Wednesday for urging people to go outside and develop immunity against the coronavirus.


"The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!" the pair tweeted from their joint account.

A spokesperson for Twitter told Mediaite their account was locked over the tweet.

"The tweet is in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy," the social network said. "The account will be locked until the account owner removes the tweet."

The tweet has since been deleted, and the duo is back on Twitter bizarrely claiming that top White House coronavirus task force medical experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx may be trying to "make Black people the Guinea pigs for their vaccines [sic] experiments."

"This reminds us of the Tuskegee experiment all over again!" they tweeted after their account was restored.

The pair, who earned a spot on Fox News' Fox Nation streaming service, which launched in 2018, have been frequently re-tweeted by President Donald Trump.

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy called out Fox News for employing hosts that "continue to spread coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories."

Fox News and owner Rupert Murdoch were sued last week by a Washington state-based group after some of the network's opinion hosts echoed Trump's comments downplaying the threat posed by the coronavirus and comparing it to the flu.

"Fox Nation, which is controlled by Rupert & Lachlan Murdoch, pays Diamond and Silk money for their opinions," media reporter Yashar Ali tweeted. "That includes dangerous and anti-science opinions like this. Just because tweets like this don't end up on their show, doesn't mean the Murdochs can disassociate from them."

The duo, which has appeared at Trump's rallies, are only the latest Fox News and Trumpworld figures to run afoul of Twitter's misinformation rules for making dubious claims about the coronavirus.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham deleted a tweet praising the Trump-touted malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure for the coronavirus despite little evidence to support the claim last week.

Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has been in the president's ear hyping the drug, had a tweet deleted by the social network for quoting conservative activist Charlie Kirk falsely claiming that "in at least three international tests was found 100% effective in treating the coronavirus." It also attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a recent Trump target, for pushing back on the president's claims.

Though there has been anecdotal evidence of the drug's efficacy, the main small study touted by the president has since been called into question. The publisher of the journal where the study appeared has since issued a statement revealing that it did not meet "expected standards."

Doctors warn that the drug can have serious side effects, especially when mixed with the antibiotic azithromycin, as the president has touted.

"This drug has major side effects," Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University, told ProPublica, "including paranoia, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, suppression of your blood counts, so you became more susceptible to infections. It can cause severe cardiac arrhythmias that can even cause death. Now, these are not common side effects, but they're common enough that they should not be taken just willy-nilly. It is not like water. It is not harmless."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close