Twitter’s social media platform announced Wednesday that it would begin next week removing false or misleading tweets about COVID-19 vaccines that could be harmful to public health.
Twitter policy was updated mentioned in a blog post in the same week the first doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine were delivered across the US and about a week before the European Union is expected to decide on the same vaccine. The post said the tweets had to say the virus was not true, shared prohibited claims about the effects of getting the vaccine and had to use vaccines to harm or control people.
Twitter said it may label tweets with “unconfirmed rumors, controversial claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information” about the vaccines starting in early 2021.
A spokesman said on Twitter that the company would work with public health partners to find out what wrong items of information were harmful enough to need to be removed. The platform said it would implement the updated policy starting December 21 and expand its activities in the coming weeks.
False sizes are online
Social media platforms have been breeding grounds for conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook and YouTube have thwarted false claims about the vaccine going against public health experts. Several countries have reported that residents are becoming skeptical or unwilling to get vaccinated, which could hamper herd immunity.
Twitter removed previous posts with misleading information about the nature of COVID-19, the effectiveness or safety of protective measures or the risk of infection.
More than 1.6 million people have died from the virus worldwide, including 300,000 in the U.S., since the pandemic began nearly a year ago.
kbd / sms (AP, Reuters)