Twitter will no longer enforce its Covid-19 misinformation policy, under which users who deviated from prevailing establishment narratives frequently had their accounts locked or suspended.
The longstanding policy did not apply to misinformation from government officials, who regularly lied about things such as transmission, masks, vaccine efficacy, side effects, or any of the other ‘science’ which turned out to be patently false.
Twitter did not officially announce the change, rather, the company added a note to a page on its website outlining its Covid-19 policy.
“Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” reads the note, which follows a line that still reads: “As the global community faces the COVID-19 pandemic together, Twitter is helping people find reliable information, connect with others, and follow what’s happening in real time.”
What’s more, Sky News reports that the company’s Covid-19 ‘misleading information’ policy was nuked, which showed that the company operated on a strike system in which those who had a label added to their tweets were given one strike, while those with deleted tweets were given two strikes. Users with two to three strikes would have a 12-hour lockout, while those with four strikes were permanently suspended.
The platform suspended more than 11,000 accounts and removed nearly 98,000 pieces of content for violating its COVID misinformation policy between January 2022 and September 2022, according to information published by Twitter.
The site also reduced the visibility of tweets or accounts believed to be in violation of the policy by stopping tweets or retweets from those accounts appearing in certain parts of Twitter, displaying their replies in lower positions in conversations and excluding their tweets or account from recommendations on the site. -Sky News
Of note, half of Twitter’s content moderation, human rights and communications teams were laid off when new owner Elon Musk took over. Hundreds more left after Musk issued an ultimatum to staff requiring them to sign up for “long hours at high intensity” or leave.