Many people get their news and information faster from social media but the Internet doesn’t always come with the guarantee of accuracy or truthfulness. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter have been trying to clean up their networks of information that could land them in very hot legal waters. They have so far weathered the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 US Elections but now they are facing the next big challenge: COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.
As if the regular flu vaccine weren’t enough, Twitter now has to deal with misinformation, fake news, and conspiracies that combine both the notion of vaccines with the already controversial coronavirus. The social network is, however, setting its foot down on one thing and it will be removing unverified and especially false information about these new vaccines when it comes across them.
It has expanded its existing COVID-19 misinformation policy to cover the next phase of combating the deadly virus. Starting next week, it will remove harmful misleading information about the vaccines. Those include claims that have already been scientifically and widely debunked as well as tweets that claim that the COVID-19 virus isn’t that serious or doesn’t exist at all.
Starting next year, however, it will step up its fight against misinformation. For tweets that aren’t outright misinformation but could still be misleading, Twitter will add a label or warning calling attention to what may just be rumors or out-of-context information.
Of course, there will be certain Internet users who will be up in arms about Twitter’s new regulations, but it is, after all, Twitter’s turf. Of course, the question will be who decides which is information and which isn’t and Twitter says it will be using a combination of technology and humans to review these posts, based on guidelines set by health authorities around the world.