'Conspiracy crackdown': Twitter to scrub posts claiming COVID-19 vaccines ‘cause harm’

WION Web Team
California, United States Published: Dec 17, 2020, 05:50 PM(IST)

Coronavirus vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

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Starting next week, Twitter will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and during the coming weeks, begin to label Tweets that contain potentially misleading information about the coronavirus vaccines

Social media giant Twitter on Thursday signaled that it will scrub posts claiming COVID-19 vaccines cause harm or are used to control populations, in a bid to keep a check on potentially harmful misleading content about these vaccines and help people stay informed.

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Twitter's policy update, announced in a blog post the same week that the first Americans received COVID-19 vaccinations as part of a mass immunisation campaign, also said users could be required to remove tweets with false claims about the adverse effects of receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Also read: Alaska healthcare worker suffers an allergic reaction to Covid-19 vaccine, Pfizer to assess the report

Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus and its potential vaccines have proliferated on social media platforms during the pandemic.

Starting next week, Twitter will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and during the coming weeks, begin to label Tweets that contain potentially misleading information about the coronavirus vaccines.

The social media platform already targets posts containing false information on how the virus spreads and the efficacy of public health measures such as mask-wearing.

The policy will include action against claims that the vaccine is used to intentionally cause harm or control people.

Vaccination campaigns have started in several countries, including Britain, the United States, and Canada, and are about to start in the European Union after the green light from the regulator for the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc-owned YouTube have both in recent weeks announced bans on false claims about the vaccine that goes against information from public health experts.

Twitter previously required users to remove tweets with false or misleading information about the nature of the coronavirus, the efficacy or safety of preventative measures or treatments, official regulations, or the risk of infection or death. The company says it hides such tweets and blocks users from tweeting again until they remove them.

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