Twitter has made moves to update its COVID-19 policies-- requiring users to remove tweets about making unverified claims that may "incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder."
What Made Twitter Management Do It?
In all likelihood, the reason for it is to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, which has become rampant, especially in social media. As Twitter is one of the hotspots for misinformation, it is high time for them to take the initiative and remove tweets that spread false claims about the coronavirus pandemic.
Examples of misinformation spreading across Twitter and other social media sites have set British 5G towers on fire because of false claims of conspiracy theories that link COVID-19 with 5G technology. This is why Twitter specifically mentions those tweets inciting people to damage or destroy 5G infrastructure is included in the new guidance.
A Twitter spokesperson said to TechCrunch, "We're prioritizing the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm," and added, "As we've said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19,"
Twitter has removed over 2,230 tweets so far with "misleading and potentially harmful content" since the rollout of the new updated policies regarding COVID-19 on Mar. 18, in which the company has said today
The policies state that Twitter would require people to remove tweets that include content that could increase the chance of a user contracting or, worse, transmitting COVID-19.
Other News In Regards to Social Media Giants Doing Their Part
Facebook also is taking steps to deter the spread of misinformation. A Facebook spokesperson had this to say to Independent, "We are taking aggressive steps to stop misinformation and harmful content from spreading on our platforms and connect people to accurate information about Coronavirus,"
Social media platforms unknowingly became carriers of conspiracy theories left and right about COVID-19 and anything related to it.
From theories involving Bill Gates, the co-found of Microsoft creating the virus, to COVID-19 being directly related to 5G technology hence the burning of 5G base towers across the United Kingdom and so much more.
Such baseless claims that would only incite fear have pushed social media all across the world to take necessary precautions to stop the spread of harmful information with no real fact to them. It would only incite fear and panic to the populace.
Already Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube have announced they are doing a joint pledge to fight coronavirus-related misinformation last Mar. 16.