In a step taken to check the posts that can spread misinformation about the ongoing pandemic or the vaccines, Twitter decided to flag such posts.
No More Vaccine Misinformation on Twitter
Twitter announced to label the tweets containing misleading and false information about the vaccines against COVID-19 infection. It also said that repeated offenders might even be suspended permanently from the platform.
According to the micro-blogging platform Twitter, a strike operation is being carried out by the organization. Posts that have any misinformation, in any form, surrounding the vaccines will be struck out. If a person received five or more such strikes, he or she might face suspension of his or her account permanently.
Twitter said that the strike system will further ensure to educate and spread awareness in people on the policies of Twitter. This will help in reducing the spread of misleading information and potentially harmful stuff on Twitter. Repeated violations specifically of moderate and high severity violations of the specified rules. Twitter wants to stop the spread of such misleading stuff, especially during the pandemic.
Twitter also added that they have launched new COVID-19 guidelines. Since the implementation of the guidelines, Twitter has removed around 8,400 tweets. They have also challenged 11.5 million accounts since the start of the guidelines. Twitter is going to be strict with its guidelines and against people who are spreading misinformation.
Twitter had banned tweets revolving around the COVID-19 misinformation. Such steps were taken in last December. Posts, not only about the vaccines but also about falsehood about the virus spread. Even the posts that were misleading about the use of masks, the effectiveness of CDC guidelines, risks around the virus, spread of the pandemic, etc.
Twitter said that one strike is not going to affect the account in any way. But two strikes will lead to a Twitter account lock for about 12 hours. Three strikes will extend the suspension of the account for another 12 hours. A seven-day account suspension is faced by the offenders who received 4 strikes. The account will be suspended permanently in case the strikes are equal to five or more.
Twitter said that the labels would be first given by the Twitter team members only. If the team members encounter any content violations or anything that spread misinformation about the vaccines, then the team members will flag the post.
Twitter added that they are willing to use both automated and human reviews to achieve their goal. Using intervention from both the team members and automated tool, the stuff revolving around the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinations, that is misleading, will be flagged and tagged.
They also clarified that Twitter would begin flagging the posts that are in the English language. The same process will be extended to other languages and also to cultural contexts in the coming days.
Twitter said labels will be displayed in the user’s language and will be used in curated content and in the official public health information on Twitter rules.
Not only Twitter but other social media platforms have also come forward to take strict measures against those to involve in spreading misinformation. Facebook also came forward with the guidelines to fight misinformation surrounding almost anything that is linked to the pandemic. After years of half-hearted strict enforcements on the platform, Facebook finally stepped up to battle at least the posts that spread false conceptions about the virus, health guidelines, vaccines or other related stuff.
Facebook announced its extended policy last month that involves all the vaccines, not only the ones against COVID-19 infection. The step was crucial because many people worldwide still raise questions on the effectiveness of vaccination programs.
While Twitter made it clear that the restrictive handles will apply to the COVID-19 vaccine only.