Twitter handles COVID-19 vaccine misinformation with labels, strike system

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Twitter announced Monday that it will begin labeling tweets that share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines.

The labels will include links to relevant information from official bodies like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, Twitter plans to enforce a five-strike system for repeat offenders that can lead to locked accounts and permanent suspension.

The new labels appear as text underneath misleading tweets, with links to information from Twitter rules or official sources. Twitter says it applies these labels through combining automated and human review systems and its beginning its rollout with English-language content.

Twitter has very specific criteria for labelling its COVID-19 misleading information policy, but in general, the company targets five categories of misleading information:

  • Misinformation about the nature of the virus
  • Misinformation about the efficacy of treatments and preventive measures
  • Misinformation about regulations, restrictions, and exemptions in association with health advisories
  • Misinformation about the prevalence of the virus and the risk of infection or death
  • Misleading affiliations (for example, claiming to be a doctor or public health official)

    Twitter’s various punishments for varying strikes are as follows:
  • One strike: no account-level action
  • Two strikes: 12-hour account lock 
  • Three strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • Four strikes: 7-day account lock 
  • Five or more strikes: permanent suspension


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