Twitter to Remove Misleading COVID-19 Tweets That May 'Potentially Cause Harm'

Certain tweets have incited people to behave harmfully, so Twitter has already removed over 2,200 misleading tweets.
Fabienne Lang

Twitter is asking users to remove certain tweets spreading unverified claims around the current pandemic in its recently updated COVID-19 policies. The company points out that these could "incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder."

The update has happened as COVID-19 misinformation surrounding 5G has supposedly pushed some people to act out in an irrational manner. 


Large scale misinformation

Falsely linked information between the coronavirus outbreak and 5G's rollout has led to some people burning down 5G towers in the U.K., which is most likely why Twitter specifically mentions that any tweets pushing people to damage 5G infrastructure will be removed in its updates. 

"We’re prioritizing the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm," a Twitter spokesperson told TechCrunch. That said, it seems the company won’t remove every tweet. "As we’ve said previously, we will not take enforcement action on every Tweet that contains incomplete or disputed information about COVID-19."

To date, Twitter has already removed 2,230 tweets that comprise "misleading and potentially harmful content" since its new updates around COVID-19 information were released on March 18. The updates specified that Twitter will ask people to remove tweets that have content that increase the chances of someone getting or transmitting COVID-19. 

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The Twitter spokesperson continued: "As we’ve doubled down on tech, our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts which were targeting discussions around COVID-19 with spammy or manipulative behaviors."

Watch what you post on Twitter.

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