Twitter bars users from posting misleading coronavirus-related tweets

Twitter, an American microblogging and social networking service provider, has recently barred its users from posting misleading coronavirus-related information. The company will remove tweets that promote information regarding fake treatments of coronavirus and those who deny any expert guidance in their posts.

The announcement comes along the heels of a similar move carried out by social media rival, Facebook. In January, Facebook announced that it would take down various posts containing conspiracy theories or false claims of the deadly coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly around the globe.

Both companies have stated that users who post such misleading content would be regarded as in violation of their policies and have tightened their usually lax rules around speech on their platforms. They believe that this content could lead to physical harm if considered as a crucial health information by readers. This health-related misinformation also has thriven the growth of the anti-vaccination groups on these platforms.

Under the new guidelines published by Twitter, the company would require users to remove various content that encourages action against the recommendations of public health authorities regarding COVID-19. For instance, news with claims touting the effectiveness of washing hands with soap as propaganda for soap companies to drive growth and take advantage out of the alarming situation, is an example of such misleading information. Additionally, certain false claims asserting that the usage of essential oils and aromatherapy will prevent COVID-19 disease would also be subject to removal.

The company has put a content severity triage system in place, to meet the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. It also recently announced that it would rely more on the machine learning and automation to identify content that violates its rules. All these measures are indicative of the fact that the social networking company is working to potentially halt the flow of lethal misinformation, in the wake of the global COVID-19 threat.

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