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This article was published on March 2, 2021


Twitter will ban you for spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

Twitter will ban you for spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

As vaccines are rolling out across the world, Twitter wants to curb misinformation related to it by introducing a new strike system. The company said repeated offenders — accounts with five strikes against them — will get banned permanently.

Last December, Twitter said that it’ll start removing tweets with harmful misinformation related to the coronavirus vaccines; the company said today it has deleted 8,400 such posts to date.

Starting today, the social network will begin to label tweets with vaccine misinformation. They’ll also point to curated content related to COVID-19 vaccines in the local context.

Credit: Twitter
Twitter covid-19 misinformation

Initially, human moderators will do this work, and the data will be used to train the company’s machine learning algorithms. Eventually, Twitter wants to use a combination of human and automated moderators.

Here’s how the system will work:

  • One strike: no account-level action
  • Two strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • Three strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • Four strikes: 7-day account lock
  • Five or more strikes: permanent suspension

Twitter said that initially, it is looking to verify English-language content with expansion to other languages and cultural contexts coming in the next few months. The company said that it’ll monitor English tweets across the globe.

Twitter is a bit late to the party. Facebook first announced its ban against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation in December, and expanded its list of false claims in February.

You can check out Twitter’s rules related to COVID-19 misinformation here.

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