Twitter is taking action against the spread of misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, with new labels for tweets that will warn against false information and claims. The platform’s latest enforcement system will also suspend, and even permanently ban, repeat offenders.
Any time a Twitter user tries to share a tweet whose content is identified as controversial regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, they will be prompted to 'Find out more' from Twitter’s COVID-19 Information Center.
Twitter explained that the labels will be initially applied by its team members when they determine content that violates Twitter’s policy. These tests will be then used for further informing and advancing the platform’s automated tools, so it can identify and label similar content across its service.
“Our goal is to eventually use both automated and human review to address content that violates our COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rules," said Twitter.
Twitter has previously introduced similar warning labels for tweets, such as its disputed info prompt, the 'More information' alerts on videos containing COVID-19 claims, and the election misinformation labels that the company launched just ahead of the November election.
The purpose of adding these tweet labels has been to help users re-evaluate the content that they share across Twitter, which contributes to the reduction in the spread of misinformation. It was found out that Twitter’s prompts on retweets of articles resulted in users to open and read articles before sharing 40% more often.
In addition to the prompts, Twitter’s new strike system is meant to educate people on why certain content violates its platforms policies, so that they can reconsider their behavior and its impact on the online public conversation. “Repeated violations of the COVID-19 policy are enforced against on the basis of the number of strikes an account has accrued for violations of the policy," Twitter explained.
Both Twitter’s new labels as well as its enforcement system are now in effect.