As COVID-19 vaccines are getting administered across the globe, Twitter is enforcing a five-strike policy for accounts that repeatedly spew misinformation about the vaccines. To supplement this policy, the platform is also debuting warning labels specifically for vaccine-related misinformation.
New Labels for COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation
In a post on the Twitter blog, the platform announced that it will be affixing new labels to Tweets that contain misleading information about the COVID-19 vaccines. The platform already places labels on Tweets that contain false information about COVID-19 in general, but these new labels are specifically for the vaccines.
The new label reads: “This Tweet may be misleading. Find out why health officials consider COVID-19 vaccines safe for most people.”
Beginning today, we will label Tweets that may contain misleading information around COVID-19 vaccinations. This is in addition to our ongoing efforts to remove the most harmful COVID-19 misleading information from Twitter.
To learn more, visit our blog.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) March 1, 2021
When you click on the label, you’ll see a popup that notes, “Help keep Twitter a place for reliable info. Find out more before sharing.” Selecting the Find out more button will connect you with a credible source about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Twitter noted that its employees will review Tweets for vaccine misinformation, but it hopes to automate the process in the future. These labels are currently only being applied to Tweets in English, but Twitter plans on expanding them to other languages soon.
Twitter Is Also Deploying a Five-Strike System for Repeat Offenders
Aside from labels, Twitter is also rolling out a strike system to punish those who consistently break Twitter’s rules about COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. This policy is similar to the strike system that Twitter already employs for its Civic Integrity Policy.
When a user breaks the rules, Twitter will notify them that their content has been labeled or removed. Twitter will take no action on the user if they’ve only broken the rules once.
But if a user breaks Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation policy two or three times, the user will be locked out of their account for 12 hours. Four violations lead to a week-long suspension, and five strikes mean a permanent ban.
In December 2020, the platform said it would ban content that spreads conspiracy theories about the vaccines, as well as any Tweets that contain debunked information about the treatments. Now that more people are able to get the vaccine, it seems that Twitter has begun to really crack down on this type of content.
Taking a Jab at False COVID-19 Vaccine Claims
Twitter is hoping to cull any false information about the COVID-19 vaccine on its platform, and it isn’t the only site taking action. Facebook previously announced its efforts to stave off vaccine-related misinformation and promised to remove false claims about the vaccines.