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Twitter Enacts Five-Strike Policy To Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

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Phil Hall
·2 min read
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Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) has enacted a new five-strike policy aimed at shutting down the spread of misinformation related to the COVID-19 vaccine.

What Happened: In a Monday post by the Twitter Safety team on the corporate blog, the company said it sought to “educate people on why certain content breaks our rules so they have the opportunity to further consider their behavior and their impact on the public conversation.” The new enforcement policy goes through a five-strike process that includes:

  • One strike: no account-level action

  • Two strikes: 12-hour account lock

  • Three strikes: 12-hour account lock

  • Four strikes: seven-day account lock

  • Five or more strikes: permanent suspension

“Labels will first be applied by our team members when they determine content violates our policy,” the company said.

“Those assessments will be used to further inform our automated tools and to advance our proactive capacity to identify and label similar content across the service. Our goal is to eventually use both automated and human review to address content that violates our COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rules.”

The new enforcement policy will initially focus on English-language content, with the expansion to other languages occurring later, Twitter said.

Why It Happened: Public health officials have faced considerable skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine, although more trust appears to be taking root.

A survey released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation found the share of Americans taking a “wait and see” approach to getting vaccinated has dropped from decreased from 31% in January to 22% in February — yet 15% of Americans insisted they will not be vaccinated and 7% said they would get the vaccine “only if required for work, school, or other activities.”

Vaccine skepticism is still strong among communities of color, with half of Black adults and slightly more than one-third of Hispanic adults admitting they were confident that the new vaccines were adequately tested for safety and effectiveness among their demographics.

“As health authorities deepen their understanding of COVID-19 and vaccination programs around the world, we will continue to amplify the most current, up-to-date, and authoritative information,” Twitter said.

Twitter doesn’t want its readers to be a stooge to misinformation. Photo courtesy Cinema Crazed.

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