Twitter Will Permanently Ban Users Who Spread COVID Disinformation | Social Media News

The social media company says users who continue to post misleading coronavirus vaccine tweets face a permanent ban on its platform.

Twitter says it will start tagging misleading COVID vaccine tweets and ban users who continue to spread such misinformation.

The microblogging platform introduced a “strike system” on Monday that will gradually evolve into a permanent ban after the fifth offending tweet.

“We believe the strike system will help educate the public about our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post.

“Especially for repeated violations of our rules of moderate and high severity.”

Twitter users will be notified when a tweet is labeled misleading or needs to be deleted for breaking platform rules, which has resulted in a strike, according to the company.

The second and third warnings will each block the offending account for 12 hours.

With a fourth violation, an account will be sidelined for seven days. A fifth strike will result in the permanent suspension of accounts, Twitter said.

The social media company late last year began calling on users to remove dangerously misleading COVID-19 claims, including suggestions that vaccines are being used to harm or control people.

The service was also targeting unsubstantiated claims about the harmful effects of vaccines or questioning the reality of the pandemic.

Since then, Twitter has deleted more than 8,400 tweets and notified some 11.5 million accounts worldwide of violations of its COVID-19 reporting rules.

The strike system is similar to what Twitter applies to election-related misinformation, which led to former US President Donald Trump’s permanent ban for repeated violations, including language that the platform says could incite violence and call into question the integrity of the voting process.

COVID vaccination campaigns are underway in many countries with the aim of keeping people healthy and returning to a pre-pandemic lifestyle.

YouTube and Facebook are among the online platforms that have taken action to tackle the spread of lies about the pandemic and vaccines.

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