The misinformation about covid-19 is spreading through social media at an alarming rate. Twitter said that it would remove all the claims with regards to misinformation about the covid-19 vaccine. Several claims are running on social media that vaccines were developed to cause intentional harm, or they were unnecessary. Apart from that, there are also several conspiracy theories running on different social networks about the adverse effects of vaccines.
Twitter Cracks Down On Covid 19 Vaccine Misinformation
As the mass immunizations begin across the US, Twitter has made a policy shift that is likely to begin next week. Several researchers have warned that the opposition to the vaccines is not just coming from fringe anti-vaccine communities but also from several corners of mainstream America. Several communities across the country have lost their faith in Science and the government due to the pandemic situation.
As the government did not provide consistent information with regards to the safety guidelines and seriousness of the pandemic, many people are not willing to believe the guidelines of the CDC or the administration with regards to the covid-19 vaccine.
The challenge is big, and Twitter is all set to react to the vaccine misinformation. Twitter said that the misinformation about the vaccine presents a huge challenge to public Healthcare, and they would prioritize the removal of such harmful and misleading information in the next few weeks.
In a similar move, even Facebook and YouTube have said that they would remove false claims about the vaccines. As of now, Twitter already labels misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, and it will continue to remove such malicious posts with regards to the covid-19 vaccine.
Starting next year, twitter would also add warning labels to tweets that promote rumors and disputed claims about the vaccines.
Several critics are concerned that the same information campaign, which initially downplayed the severity of the pandemic, is now shifting the focus on the vaccine. This is like a digital war situation, and social media platforms are used as weapons to promote false information that can harm the common citizens. This trend of providing false information began soon after the pandemic started in March and reached its peak during the elections.
Several conspiracy theories have shaped the perception of the common public regarding the vaccine. Due to the enormous amount of misinformation regarding the pandemic, several people still believe that the coronavirus was created and spread by some powerful forces across the world.
The antiVaccination groups are trying to make money out of the fear among the public. As more vaccines come into the market in the next few months, the amount of false information with regards to the vaccines will also go up on social media platforms.
Experts are worried that if Americans get fooled with this false information regarding the vaccines, it can affect the mass vaccination program, and public health care will not be able to stop the pandemic in the near future. Even the government is not doing much with regards to promoting the vaccination program. The mass vaccinations which began this week did not get much attention from mainstream media, and the promotional campaign by the government was muted to a large extent.
There is a need to promote the vaccination program aggressively so that a majority of Americans would be willing to take the vaccine when it is available in their region. Health experts have always said that the pandemic can be brought under control only when a majority of Americans take the vaccine. It is expected that herd immunity can be achieved only after 70% of the population is vaccinated. Given the situation, it may take many months for the government to vaccinate a majority of Americans and bring the pandemic under control.