Twitter will Remove Misleading Tweets that Could Incite People to Engage in ‘Harmful Activity’
Twitter has announced that the company has updated its COVID-19 policies. The new policies will require users remove misleading tweets that make unverified claims that “incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder.”
The changes come as COVID-19 misinformation has spread across social media that has incited people to act rashly. People have set British 5G towers on fire because of conspiracy theories that falsely link the spread of COVID-19 to the rollout of 5G — which is probably why Twitter specifically mentions that tweets inciting people to damage 5G infrastructure are included in the new guidance. The decision comes after thousands of people across the US protested against social distancing and lockdown orders.
The company said in a tweet, “We have broadened our guidance on unverified claims that incite people to engage in harmful activity, could lead to the destruction or damage of critical 5G infrastructure, or could lead to widespread panic, social unrest, or large-scale disorder.”
Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube announced that they had jointly made a pledge to fight coronavirus-related misinformation on March 16th.
In a further tweet, the company stated the following, “Update: we’re expanding our safety rules to include content that could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19. Now, we will require people to remove Tweets that include the following:
Content that increases the chance that someone contracts or transmits the virus, including:
– Denial of expert guidance
– Encouragement to use fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques
– Misleading content purporting to be from experts or authorities.”