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Twitter sets out policy to ban people repeatedly spreading vaccine disinformation

Twitter on Monday laid out a policy to ban people who repeatedly spread vaccine-related disinformation, right on time for the vaccination campaign expanding to senior citizens and older people with ‘comorbidities’ in India. “As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines expands, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what’s happening and find the latest authoritative public health information,” an unsigned post by Twitter Safety said. “Since introducing our COVID-19 guidance, we have removed more than 8,400 Tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide.”

Our goal is to eventually use both automated and human review to address content that violates our COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rules. Machine-learning and automated language processing takes time to be effective. As such, we will begin with English-language content first and use this same process as we work to expand to other languages and cultural contexts over time. — Twitter

Twitter will be labelling misinformation like it has been doing for other types of falsehoods on the platform, particularly for election-related fake news. “Individuals will be notified directly when a label or required Tweet removal results in additional account-level enforcement,” the company said. The company has a strike-based system for vaccine falsehoods, which means that people who share misinformation in good faith will likely not be impacted unless they keep doing so after repeated warnings.

  • 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— Twitter Safety

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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