Mar 1, 2021 - Technology

Twitter to label COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, implement strike policy

Twitter and COVID-19 illustration

Photo: Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter announced Monday that it will label tweets with potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, and introduce a strike system that can lead to permanent account suspension.

The big picture: Tech companies are taking an increasingly aggressive stance against users who attempt to share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines on their platforms.

  • Facebook announced in February it would crack down on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
  • YouTube announced last October it would remove videos with COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. YouTube has a similar strike policy for accounts that break its rules.

Details: The platform will begin applying the labels Monday, using human review at first and eventually using automated tools as well.

  • Labels may link to curated content on vaccines and official public health information.
  • Individuals will be notified if their tweet has resulted in a strike. Users will get five strikes, and the level of punishment will go from no action to different lengths of account lockouts to total suspension. Users can submit appeals.

What they're saying: "Our goal with these product interventions is to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19," the company wrote in a blog post.

  • "Through the use of the strike system, we hope to educate people on why certain content breaks our rules so they have the opportunity to further consider their behavior and their impact on the public conversation."
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