Twitter ends Covid misinformation policy under CEO Elon Musk
Social media giant Twitter said it has stopped enforcing its policy on misleading information about Covid-19, as the new owner Elon Musk continues to analyse Twitter’s content moderation policies.
According to the official website of Twitter, it stopped taking action against tweets breaching its Covid rules on 23 November. The message read, “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading information policy.”
During the pandemic, Twitter took action against people who spread misinformation about Covid-19. As of September 2022, Twitter had suspended 11,230 accounts under the Covid misinformation policy.
What do critics of the new policy say?
Public health experts have raised concerns over the new decision. The latest decision comes amid concerns about Twitter’s ability to fight misinformation after the takeover by Musk.
Some public health experts said that the current decision could lead to more false claims about Covid-19 or the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
However, Dr Simone Gold, a physician and leading purveyor of Covid-19 misinformation, said, “This policy was used to silence people across the world who questioned the media narrative surrounding the virus and treatment options. A win for free speech and medical freedom!”
On Monday, Musk described his actions as a “revolution against online censorship in America.” In 2020, Musk clashed with US officials over pandemic safety rules.
Since taking over the platform last month, Musk has introduced various changes to the social media company. Musk fired almost 50 per cent of Twitter’s workforce. He also dissolved top leadership by firing CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives. He asked the remaining workers to return to the office to work full-time.
Earlier this month, he also held a meeting with Twitter employees. He talked about various issues related to work. He asked workers to give their best because the social media company was losing more than $4 million a day because advertisers started fleeing once he took over Twitter.