Twitter plans to combat misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
With the misleading spread of vaccine misinformation (now two vaccines have received emergency status to distribute in the United States), it has become a challenge to determine what information is right or wrong. Twitter is focused on mitigating misleading information that may present potential harm to people’s health and wellbeing. Currently, Twitter requires the removal of Tweets with false or misleading information about:
- The nature of the virus, such as how it spreads within communities;
- The efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease;
- Official regulations, restrictions, or exemptions pertaining to health advisories; and
- The prevalence or risk of infection or death.
Starting next week, Twitter is expanding the policy and may require users to remove Tweets with false or misleading information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, including:
- False claims that suggest immunizations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations, including statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy;
- False claims which have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations; or
- False claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious, and therefore that vaccinations are unnecessary.
Then, starting early next year, Twitter may label or place a warning on Tweets that post unsubstantiated rumors, disputed claims, and incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines. Tweets that are labeled as such may link to authoritative public health information or the Twitter Rules to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19.