Twitter Ends Covid-19 Misinformation Policy After Musk Promises “General Amnesty”
The Elon Musk administration is no longer enforcing Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation guidelines. A change after the CEO announced: “general amnesty” for suspended accounts.
On its transparency page for coronavirus misinformation, Twitter stated that it would stop. As of November 23, 2022, the COVID-19 policy on false information will enforce. Additionally, Twitter’s “How we address misinformation on Twitter” explainer no longer includes the COVID-19 policy. The misinformation policy’s URL now directs users to Twitter’s Help Center.
The policy’s termination comes after a mass exodus of employees from Twitter. It includes those in the trust and safety team. Which is in charge of content moderation—since Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of the company.
The people have spoken.
Amnesty begins next week.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2022
Musk posted a poll to his followers that Twitter stopped enforcing its COVID-19 policy on the same day. Anti-misinformation policy, asking them whether Twitter should grant “general amnesty to suspended accounts” under specific circumstances. The response rate of more than 3 million people was 72.4% in favor. The billionaire declared, “Amnesty begins next week.”
In March 2020, Twitter announced the implementation of its COVID-19 misinformation policy. Stating that posts debunking “authoritative sources” on the virus are removed. “Removal of the worst, most false information” regarding COVID-19 vaccines later given priority under the policy’s expansion.
Eleven thousand two hundred thirty winters have reportedly suspended 11,230 accounts for breaking the guidelines against COVID-19 misinformation. As of September 2022, more than 11.72 million accounts challenge under the policy, and 97,674 content delete globally.
As the tech sector has sought to balance preventing harmful misinformation and free speech, social media content moderation policies scrutinize by lawmakers. Republicans are looking into how the government collaborated using social media platforms to restrict and censor posts about COVID-19. Democrats have generally called for greater censorship of posts deemed to spread misinformation.
The Twitter Files on free speech suppression soon to be published on Twitter itself. The public deserves to know what really happened …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 28, 2022
Attorney Generals Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana claimed in September that the Biden administration had forced Facebook. Then Twitter censored specific posts. Demanded that the Justice and Health and Human Services Departments turn over any correspondence the government had with those platforms.
Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” has pledged to release a report. That explains how and why Twitter blocked particular accounts. The billionaire CEO has previously said that it is “necessary to restore public trust.” To reveal internal conversations about how Twitter enforced its policies.
Musk tweeted on Monday, Shortly, The Twitter Files: Free speech repression published on Twitter. The general public should understand the truth about what occurred.”
The platform has long come under fire from critics, especially those on the right. For what they see as unfair and ambiguous criteria. For which accounts are censored or suspended.
The tech giant permanently barred former President Trump from the platform in 2021. Blocked the New York Post’s report on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop in 2020. Shut down the Twitter account of the conservative satire website The Babylon Bee in March for giving transgender Biden administration official Rachel Levine a fictitious “Man of the Year” award.
Under its COVID-19 policies, Twitter had also banned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, Dr. Robert Malone, a supporter of mRNA vaccine technology, and former New York Times journalist and author Alex Berenson.