Twitter quietly removed its COVID-19 misinformation policy, without anyone realising it until a week later!
Twitter Quietly Removed COVID Misinformation Policy!
Twitter quietly removed its COVID-19 misinformation policy, and stopped taking action against people breaching those rules a week ago – on Wednesday, 23 November 2022!
Twitter quietly “announced” in its COVID-19 Misinformation Transparency report that it would stop enforcing its policy.
Instead of announcing the change in its COVID-19 misinformation policy page, Twitter quietly removed the page completely, even though you can still find it in the search results.
Removal Of Twitter Policy To Usher New Age Of COVID Misinformation!
The quiet removal of the Twitter COVID-19 misinformation policy is set to trigger a rush of disinformation and misinformation about the coronavirus, and its vaccines.
Twitter first initiated its COVID-19 misinformation policy in April 2020, with a five strike system against accounts posting “demonstrably false or misleading” content that “may lead to significant risk of harm”.
- first-time offender will receive one strike, but no action would be taken against their accounts,
- the second and third strikes would result in users being locked out of their accounts for 12 hours,
- the fourth strike would result in a 7-day account lock-out, and finally,
- those with five or more strikes would have their account permanently suspended.
Twitter challenged and removed a ton of accounts over COVID-19 misinformation. Here are the last updated stats as of September 2022:
- 11.72 million accounts challenged
- 11,230 accounts suspended
- 97,674 content removed
Even though it was far from perfect, Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation policy did have an effect on misinformation about the coronavirus and its vaccines.
Unfortunately, it was set to break after Elon Musk laid off half of Twitter’s staff, and significantly reduce its content moderation department.
Elon Musk appears to be set on relying on Twitter users to conduct their own “content moderation” using Community Notes. Twitter users can vote on whether a note is useful or misleading, or add context if necessary. The updated Community Notes will introduce “scoring” to allow users to vote on the quality of the note. How well that will work out remains to be seen.
In the meantime, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccination activists will have free rein to post whatever misinformation they wish.
Twitter advertisers may not like this, but it looks like Elon Musk has made up his mind to favour freedom of speech, over preventing harm through content moderation.
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