Twitter is no longer enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy
Twitter has stopped enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy that was aimed at tackling the spread of misleading information about the pandemic. The platform will not take any action against accounts that spread fake news about COVID. The change in policy comes amid Elon Musk's decision to let suspended accounts back to Twitter. The policy first came into force in 2020.
Why does this story matter?
- Twitter has decided to get rid of the restrictions it placed on posts containing COVID-related misinformation. This could be a precursor to Musk's plan to reinstate suspended accounts.
- This may also be a result of a lack of employees after Musk fired nearly half of them. Whether this change would have any major ramifications or not, we will see in the days ahead.
Policy change has been in place since November 23
Twitter hasn't made any formal announcement about the policy change. On the page that talks about COVID-19 misinformation, it has added a note that says, "effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy." The rules that came into force to put clamps on the spread of misinformation about the virus and its vaccines won't be around anymore.
Twitter has suspended 11,230 accounts for violating COVID misinformation policy
Twitter's COVID-19 misinformation policy has earned the praise of medical professionals for the way it handled the spread of fake news. Since January 2020, the company suspended 11,230 accounts and removed around 100,000 pieces of content for violating the policy. Last week, Musk announced that he would grant "general amnesty" to suspended accounts. It is unclear whether the 11,230 accounts will be among them.
Musk has criticized COVID restrictions on Twitter before
Musk, Twitter's new CEO, was a naysayer of restrictions imposed due to COVID. In March and April 2020, Musk used Twitter to downplay the pandemic and criticized the measures taken. He mainly had an issue with how people were forced to stay at their homes. This is understandable, considering how much he despises remote work.
Meta is also considering relaxing its COVID-related misinformation policy
Twitter isn't the only platform that's rethinking its COVID-19 policies. Meta has referred the matter to its Oversight Board to decide whether to relax some of the restrictions it has placed on COVID-related misinformation.