Twitter tackles COVID-19 vaccine misinformation with warnings and strike policy

Coronavirus Vaccine

FILE – This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (NewsNation Now) — Twitter announced it will start labeling tweets that contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and implement a strike system of enforcement that could see users permanently banned for repeat violations.

The labels will appear under the tweet and may link to curated content and official public health information about the vaccine, according to Twitter. Under the strike policy, which is similar to Twitter’s Civic Integrity Policy, five or more strikes could result from a permanent suspension from the network. Twitter users can still appeal an account lock or suspension.

The social media giant started promoting public health information before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. Twitter said it aimed to remove demonstrably false or misleading content about the virus that had the highest risk of causing harm.

Since introducing its COVID-19 guidance, Twitter said it has removed more than 8,400 tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwife.

Last year, Twitter also began labeling and removing tweets that attempted to undermine people’s faith in the electoral process itself, such as false claims about election rigging or ballot tampering, or about the outcome of the vote.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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