DUBAI: Social networking giant Twitter is ramping up efforts to remove harmful and misleading information circulating online about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
As the vaccine roll out gains speed, conversations about inoculation have been increasing on social media platforms.
And to help combat false claims and scaremongering about vaccines, Twitter has been applying labels to tweets that may contain misleading information about the COVID-19 jabs.
Labels will appear next to suspect content and may link to either the curated content tab, the official public health information, or the Twitter rules page.
Initially, Twitter’s team will apply labels to misleading content. Those assessments will be used to then inform the platform’s automated tools to identify and label similar content.
In addition to labels, Twitter will be introducing a strike system that will determine when further enforcement is necessary.
Repeated violations of the COVID-19 policy will be enforced on the basis of the number of strikes an account has accrued for infringing Twitter’s policies. Two and three strikes will result in a 12-hour account lock, four strikes a seven-day lock, and permanent suspension for five or more.
Twitter’s help center said that content could be labeled or removed if it advanced a claim of fact expressed in definitive terms, was demonstrably false or misleading based on widely available authoritative sources, or was likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm.
In December, Twitter shared updates on its work to protect the public conversation surrounding the virus outbreak. Since introducing its COVID-19 guidance, the platform has permanently suspended 2,400 accounts and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide.
The company has also launched a dedicated COVID-19 search prompt feature. When the term COVID-19 is searched on the platform, credible and authoritative content appears at the top of the search results. This has now been expanded to more than 80 countries and is currently available in 29 languages.
In some countries, the prompts also include an additional button that links to information specific to the COVID-19 vaccine.