Twitter Taking Strong Steps To Combat The Spread Of The Coronavirus Misinformation

  • Twitter is removing tweets and challenging those accounts that are helping the spread of the coronavirus misinformation.
  • The company is also taking down tweets from high-profile figures that are causing the spread of fake information related to the coronavirus but some tweets may slip through despite these efforts.
  • Under the company’s new guidance, tweets spreading fake cures for the coronavirus will be blocked.

Since the spread of coronavirus misinformation is on the rise, Twitter’s new guidance says that the platform will remove content that may help the spread of COVID-19.

Since March 18, the company has started to take down tweets spreading fake information related to the novel coronavirus. In a new announcement, the micro-blogging platform claimed that it has successfully evacuated more than 1100 tweets that could prove to be misleading and harmful under these crises till now.

The company’s automated system is busy confronting accounts that seem to be manipulative when targeting discussions around the coronavirus and has challenged more than 1.5 million spammy accounts. Twitter rolled out this new data as there was increased criticism against social media platforms for not taking strong initiatives against the spread of the coronavirus misinformation but Twitter has refused to provide the content it has removed from the platform.

The company seems to have a strong initiative on this aspect and has been removing misleading tweets from high-profile figures too since March 18. The company took down two tweets by Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil. The tweets are said to include videos in which the politician was found questioning social distancing while social distancing being an important factor to stop the spread of the virus according to health officials.

Twitter also removed a tweet by Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan’s president in which he suggested using ‘natural brew’ for curing COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. A tweet quoting conservative activist Charlie Kirk who maliciously claims that ‘hydroxychloroquine’ is 100% effective for treating COVID-19 was tweeted by Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal attorney, United States President. The company removed the said tweet and blocked his account temporarily. Although the US Department of Health and Human Services says that this drug may have some benefits but a shred of strong medical evidence is still needed.

Despite the efforts being made by the platform, some tweets may slip through, Twitter warns. According to the NY Times, there are still several tweets going around the platform that spread the coronavirus misinformation. Tweets including a biased and prejudiced opinion about Asians and China have also not been removed by the platform.

Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO at Tesla also tweeted a post saying ‘kids are essentially immune’ from the coronavirus. Kids can be affected by the virus but Twitter left up this tweet also saying that what Musk stated was not a categorical statement.

Twitter rolled out its latest guidance stating that the platform blocked posts that were going against the recommendations of health officials or were spreading fake cures to the illness. Twitter is also taking down those tweets which are spreading other types of fake information such as the claims that some specific groups of people are easily affected by the coronavirus.

Read next: The Impact Coronavirus is Having on Entertainment Consumption
Previous Post Next Post