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Twitter Now Labeling Content for 'Misleading Information' on COVID-19 Vaccines

© REUTERS / Kacper PempelPeople holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013
People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013 - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2021
Back in December, Twitter Safety announced the social media platform would begin prioritizing the "removal of the most harmful misleading information" from users' timelines. Twitter has since removed over "8,400 Tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide."

"Starting today, we will begin applying labels to Tweets that may contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to our continued efforts to remove the most harmful COVID-19 misleading information from the service," Twitter Safety announced in a March 1 blog post

Content will reportedly be reviewed by "team members" from Twitter to determine if it violates COVID-19 misleading information policy.

"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," the blog release read. "Our goal is to eventually use both automated and human review to address content that violates our COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rules."

The social media platform also unveiled its new strike system, designed to "help to educate the public on our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter, particularly for repeated moderate and high-severity violations of our rules." 

While Twitter agrees to not punish someone who violates the COVID-19 misleading information policy for the first time, two and three strikes against a user will each result in 12-hour account locks. The fourth strike comes with a 7-day suspension and five (or more) strikes can get one permanently suspended from Twitter. 

"Individuals will be notified directly when a label or required Tweet removal results in additional account-level enforcement," Twitter Safety noted. The decision can also be appealed

Twitter's new policies regarding misleading content and misinformation come amid social media giants' mission to curb the dissemination of false COVID-19 information. 

It was reported last week by Politico that at least 110 vaccine awareness organizations were flagged and submitted to the Facebook political message registry. Such roadblocks have made many health officials reconsider the effectiveness of COVID vaccine campaigns via social media.  

"[The restrictions] made it very difficult for the township in our efforts to inform our residents about important information regarding COVID-19 registration and updates," said Mary Hastings, executive administrator for Illinois' Orland Township. "This is very unfair." 

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