Twitter moves to address vaccine misinformation on its platform

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As the year draws to a close we would have thought that things would slow down but 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

Despite Christmas Day being around the corner, Twitter is still hard at work fighting misinformation on its platform and next week it will start enforcing new rules, this time regarding information about vaccines.

Right now the COVID-19 vaccine is the talk of the town though it depends on who you happen to follow on Twitter what that conversation is about.

Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine contain micro-chips or that it has intentionally been made to be unsafe are commonplace on Twitter and the firm urgently needs to address them.

“Moving forward and beginning next week, we are expanding the policy and may require people to remove Tweets which advance harmful false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations,” Twitter wrote in a policy update.

Tweets that contain the following will be removed:

  • False clams that suggest immunisations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations including statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy
  • False claims that have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of vaccinations
  • False claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious and therefore vaccinations are not necessary

This is just the beginning however, as Twitter says that in 2021 it will place warning labels on tweets that “advance unsubstantiated rumors, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines”.

Twitter will use these labels to link to the Twitter rules or authoritative sources of public health information.

This policy comes into force on 21st December.

“We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach. We remained focused on helping people find credible health information, verifying public health experts, and updating our policies in an iterative and transparent approach,” Twitter concluded.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.