Details on Twitter’s policy to automatically flag or delete tweets concerning Covid-19

Details on Twitter’s policy to automatically flag or delete tweets concerning Covid-19

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See Twitter’s blog post here. As best I can tell, even discussion of items that may go against a current public health “expert” opinion is forbidden. Some of these are hilarious because they were violated by public health officials and political leaders such as the prohibition on tweets encouraging people to out to bars and continue on with life – see examples at end.

“Broadening our definition of harm to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information.”

….

Under this guidance, we will require people to remove tweets that include:

  • Denial of global or local health authority recommendations to decrease someone’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance, such as: “social distancing is not effective”, or actively encouraging people to not socially distance themselves in areas known to be impacted by COVID-19 where such measures have been recommended by the relevant authorities.

  • Description of alleged cures for. COVID-19, which are not immediately harmful but are known to be ineffective, are not applicable to the COVID-19 context, or are being shared with the intent to mislead others, even if made in jest, such as “coronavirus is not heat-resistant – walking outside is enough to disinfect you” or “use aromatherapy and essential oils to cure COVID-19.”

  • Description of harmful treatments or protection measures which are known to be ineffective, do not apply to COVID-19, or are being shared out of context to mislead people, even if made in jest, such as “drinking bleach and ingesting colloidal silver will cure COVID-19.”

  • Denial of established scientific facts about transmission during the incubation period or transmission guidance from global and local health authorities, such as “COVID-19 does not infect children because we haven’t seen any cases of children being sick.”

  • Specific claims around COVID-19 information that intends to manipulate people into certain behavior for the gain of a third party with a call to action within the claim, such as “coronavirus is a fraud and not real – go out and patronize your local bar!!” or “the news about washing your hands is propaganda for soap companies, stop washing your hands”.

  • Specific and unverified claims that incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder, such as “The National Guard just announced that no more shipments of food will be arriving for 2 months – run to the grocery store ASAP and buy everything!”

  • Specific and unverified claims made by people impersonating a government or health official or organization such as a parody account of an Italian health official stating that the country’s quarantine is over.

  • Propagating false or misleading information around COVID-19 diagnostic criteria or procedures such as “if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you do not have coronavirus.”

  • False or misleading claims on how to differentiate between COVID-19 and a different disease, and if that information attempts to definitively diagnose someone, such as “if you have a wet cough, it’s not coronavirus – but a dry cough is” or “you’ll feel like you’re drowning in snot if you have coronavirus – it’s not a normal runny nose.”

  • Claims that specific groups, nationalities are never susceptible to COVID-19, such as “people with dark skin are immune to COVID-19 due to melanin production” or “reading the Quran will make an individual immune to COVID-19.”

  • Claims that specific groups, nationalities are more susceptible to COVID-19, such as “avoid businesses owned by Chinese people as they are more likely to have COVID-19.”

 

Examples of official public health communication that Twitter now bans

 

NY City Health Commissioner

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