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Politics: Hillicon Valley — GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene ban

The US is lifting its travel ban against southern African countries, but medical experts say stigmatization has already perpetuated anti-Blackness

  The US is lifting its travel ban against southern African countries, but medical experts say stigmatization has already perpetuated anti-Blackness The US is lifting the travel ban on New Year's Eve. Experts say that isn't enough and want the US to do more to promote global vaccine equity. Southern African leaders and medical experts called the travel ban 'Afrophobia'The global medical community has not seen a science-based explanation to ban travel from eight southern African countries, Davis said.Only two of the eight countries banned — Botswana and South Africa — had reported an Omicron case before the US identified its first on December 1.African leaders harshly criticized the US's and European countries' move to limit travel from southern Africa.

Today is Monday. Welcome to Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Follow The Hill's tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@millsrodrigo) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

Twitter's New Year's weekend ban on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-Ga.) personal account is adding new fuel to Republican's accusations that tech giants are censoring content with an anti-conservative bias.

On the Senate side, Republican Rand Paul (Ky.) took aim at YouTube over similar accusations of censorship and said he would stop posting on the mainstream platform.

Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde have amassed more than $100,000 in fines for defying House mask rules, report says

  Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde have amassed more than $100,000 in fines for defying House mask rules, report says In resisting the House's rules, Greene has accumulated more than $80,000 in fines, while Clyde has at least $30,000, according to The New York Times.Greene has incurred more than $80,000 in penalties and has been fined more than 30 times for defying mask rules, the report said, while Clyde has incurred at least $30,000 in penalties and has been fined at least 14 times.

Let's jump into the news.

McCarthy blasts Twitter over Greene ban

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 to release a report about those who were arrested for Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. © Provided by The Hill Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) addresses reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 to release a report about those who were arrested for Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday accused Twitter of trying to "silence" Americans after the platform banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) for violating its COVID-19 misinformation policy.

Blasting Twitter: McCarthy didn't directly name Greene in his statement blasting the social media company, but he specifically called out a decision against a "sitting member of Congress."

"It is clear any speech that does not fit Big Tech's orthodoxy gets muzzled. America is poorer for that conduct," he said in his statement.

AZ Congressman Calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'Traitor' for Suggesting 'National Divorce'

  AZ Congressman Calls Marjorie Taylor Greene a 'Traitor' for Suggesting 'National Divorce' "Just say it if you want a civil war and officially declare yourself a traitor," Gallego wrote in response to Greene's suggestion of a "National Divorce scenario."Greene suggested in a tweet on Wednesday that "brainwashed" Democrats from blue states should be given a "cooling down period" where they are not allowed to vote if they move to a red state. Although suspending voting rights for people who have moved states based on political affiliation would be clearly illegal, Greene argued that a ban could be possible during a so-called "National Divorce," prompting Gallego to blast her for promoting civil war.

Only Greene's personal account has been banned from Twitter, with the first-term lawmaker's congressional account still active.

A Twitter spokesperson said Greene's personal account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of the company's coronavirus misinformation policy. The Hill has reached out to a Twitter spokesperson for additional comment in response to McCarthy's statement.

He's not alone: Other House Republicans also slammed Twitter over its action against Greene, who has faced repeated criticism - and removal from her House committee assignments - over her embrace of conspiracy theories and endorsement of political violence.

Read more here.

Facebook follows suit (kind of)

Smart phone screen display of Facebook logo © Provided by The Hill Smart phone screen display of Facebook logo

Facebook on Monday suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-Ga.) account for 24 hours for spreading COVID-19 misinformation, just one day after her personal Twitter account was permanently suspended for the same reason.

Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene's personal Twitter account permanently suspended

  Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene's personal Twitter account permanently suspended Greene crossed the five-strike threshold, according to Twitter's COVID-19 misinformation policy, resulting in a permanent suspension.The account "@mtgreenee," was cited for repeated violations of the social media platform's COVID-19 misinformation policy, according to Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy told USA TODAY .

Greene's gram: On her Telegram account, Greene shared a screenshot of a message from Facebook stating that she would be barred from posting anything for the next 24 hours.

"Facebook has joined Twitter in censoring me. This is beyond censorship of speech," Greene wrote. "I'm an elected Member of Congress representing over 700,000 US tax paying citizens and I represent their voices, values, defend their freedoms, and protect the Constitution."

Greene's verified congressional Facebook account is still up.

Meta's take: In a statement provided to The Hill, a spokesperson for Meta, Facebook's parent company, said, "A post violated our policies and we have removed it; but removing her account for this violation is beyond the scope of our policies."

On Sunday, Twitter permanently suspended Greene's personal account, citing "repeated violations" of its policies. Greene's congressional account is still active. After her account was taken down, Greene called Twitter the "enemy to America."

Read more here.

HOLMES' TRIAL JURY LOCKED

The jury in the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes said they were deadlocked and "unable to come to a unanimous verdict on three of the counts" in a note on Monday.

What does Marjorie Taylor Greene do all day?

  What does Marjorie Taylor Greene do all day? The news that one of Marjorie Taylor Greene's Twitter accounts has been permanently suspended is a bigger blow to the Georgia Congresswoman than you might think. © Win McNamee/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) answers questions in front of the House steps while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy holds a press conference November 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. McCarthy and other members of the Republican caucus spoke on U.S. President Joe Biden's domestic agenda as his Build Back Better initiative nears a vote in the House.

Before sending the jury back to continue weighing those counts, Judge Edward. J. Davila provided them with deadlock instructions and reiterated the presumption of innocence for Holmes, ABC News reported.

The 37-year-old faces nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as prosecutors argued that the blood-testing startup intentionally misled patients and investors.

Coming two weeks after the jury began deliberations - including some time off for the holidays - Monday's note is the first substantive signal of where the jury stands, per ABC News.

Read more here.

APPLE HITS $3T MARKET VALUE

Apple has become the first U.S. company to hit a market value of $3 trillion during intraday trading.

Apple briefly achieved the milestone Monday when its share price reached $182.86, before later closing at $182.01.

The company, which has tripled its valuation in less than four years, showed growth across all of its products during its fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue up 29 percent year-over-year, CNBC reported.

Apple's services business grew to 25.6 percent over a year-to-year span and delivered more than $18 billion in revenue during the quarter.

Read more here.

BITS AND PIECES

An op-ed to chew on: 2022 will be the year the world begins to return to the moon

At the Races: A year later …

  At the Races: A year later … Welcome to At the Races! Each week we’ll bring you news and analysis from the CQ Roll Call campaign team. Know someone who’d like to get this newsletter? They can subscribe here. Much of official Washington and the Capitol Hill community, including CQ Roll Call’s own reporters and photographers, are marking today’s anniversary of the […] The post At the Races: A year later … appeared first on Roll Call.

Lighter click: Happy snow day

Notable links from around the web:

From the Capitol to the city council: How extremism in the U.S. shifted after Jan. 6 (NBC News / Brandy Zadrozny Ben Collins)

A new wave of AI auditing startups wants to prove responsibility can be profitable (Protocol / Kate Kaye)

He Made Wordle for His Partner. Now it's an Online Hit. (The New York Times / Daniel Victor)

One last thing: Nunes formally resigns

  Hillicon Valley — GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene ban © Provided by The Hill

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) formally resigned from Congress on Monday, as the California Republican departs to run former President Trump's new media and technology company.

Nunes's resignation letter was read aloud on the House floor during a pro forma session on Monday. It is set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. today.

"The honorable, the speaker, House of Representatives, madam, I write to inform you that I have notified California Gov. Gavin Newsom of my resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives effective today at 11:59 p.m." the letter reads.

Read more here.

That's it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill's technology and cybersecurity pages for the latest news and coverage. We'll see you Tuesday.

Rep. Warren Davidson becomes the latest GOP lawmaker to compare COVID-19 policies to Nazi Germany .
Davidson joins the likes of Reps. Thomas Massie and Majorie Taylor Greene in comparing US COVID-19 policies to Nazi Germany.Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio tweeted a picture of a Nazi health document called a "gesundheitspass" on Wednesday, saying the "Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them.

See also