Social media giant Twitter announced this week that it will begin labeling tweets that share “misleading information” about the coronavirus vaccine and will implement a strike system for repeat offenders of the “misinformation policy.”
The Verge reports that Twitter announced on Monday that it will begin labeling tweets that share what the company decides is misleading information about coronavirus vaccines. The labels will link to relevant information from government bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a system allowing for five strikes will be implemented for users that repeatedly violate its misinformation policies.
Repeated violations of the policies could lead to Twitter locking or permanently suspending accounts. The new labels are similar to Facebook’s anti-misinformation banners which were launched as part of Facebook’s attempts to curb what it considers coronavirus misinformation last December.
Twitter plans to apply the new labels through a combination of human and automated review systems and will begin the rollout with English language content first. The criteria for labeling coronavirus posts have been outlined in Twitter’s misleading information policy but overall Twitter is focusing on five categories of false or misleading information, according to the Verge:
- Misinformation about the nature of the virus
- Misinformation about the efficacy of treatments and preventive measures
- Misinformation about regulations, restrictions, and exemptions in association with health advisories
- Misinformation about the prevalence of the virus and the risk of infection or death
- Misleading affiliations (for example, claiming to be a doctor or public health official)
Labels will also play a major part in the new strike system. Twitter has stated that a tweet deemed harmful by the company counts as one strike. A tweet that adds to a larger conspiracy connected to the virus that Twitter deems dangerous, such as the idea that vaccines include microchips to track people, may also be deleted by the platform.
Twitter’s punishments for the different number of strikes, according to the Verge, are:
- One strike: no account-level action
- Two strikes: 12-hour account lock
- Three strikes: 12-hour account lock
- Four strikes: 7-day account lock
- Five or more strikes: permanent suspension