Twitter to remove coronavirus vaccine misinformation

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Twitter announced Wednesday that it will remove tweets making false or misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Any tweets claiming that vaccines “intentionally cause harm to control populations” or invoke conspiracy theories will be subject to removal, according to Twitter’s blog post. Tweets falsely suggesting that COVID-19 doesn’t exist or espouse “widely debunked” claims may also be removed. Enforcement of the new policy will begin next week.

Twitter may also label or place warnings on tweets pushing vaccine conspiracy theories starting early next year. These labeled tweets could link out to authoritative public health information, similar to how Twitter directed users to verified voting information throughout the 2020 election.

“We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach,” the blog post said.

Twitter’s new policy comes as health care workers across the US have started to receive COVID-19 vaccinations after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. These vaccinations have been the target of countless conspiracy theories, including false allegations that they contain microchips or are used to alter DNA.

The new rules expand on coronavirus-related policies put in place by Twitter earlier this year. In March, Twitter rolled out a COVID-19 tab in its Explore page and partnered with organizations like the World Health Organization to supply reputable coronavirus information on its platform.

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