Twitter said Wednesday that it would start removing misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. The planned shutdowns, which will begin next week, have been announced amid mounting misinformation about the vaccines that are only just beginning to be rolled out in the US.
Tweets claiming that the vaccines are deliberately causing harm or creating conspiracies about the dangers of vaccines will be removed from Twitter, in accordance with the new policy. Facebook and YouTube have already announced plans to remove false claims about the vaccines.
"In the context of a global pandemic, vaccine misinformation is a significant and growing public health challenge," Twitter said in a blog post.
While Twitter is already flagging misinformation about the coronavirus, e.g. B. Claims that masks, social distancing and other good health practices are not effective, the new policy specifically addresses vaccines.
Twitter said it would also try to distinguish between outright misinformation – which is being removed – and tweets that fall in a gray area, such as those expressing concerns about vaccine side effects. Beginning next year, the company will be adding labels to tweets promoting "baseless rumors, controversial allegations, and incomplete or out of context information" about vaccines.
"We will give priority to removing the most harmful misleading information and will begin flagging tweets in the coming weeks that may contain misleading information about the vaccines," the company said in the blog post.