On November 30, 2022, Twitter said it would no longer implement its COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy.
That means the platform would not take down messages that contained “demonstrably false or potentially misleading content.”
Twitter would not mark or annotate such information either. As a result, the platform would no longer suspend accounts that repeatedly break the policy’s guidelines.
Twitter, free speech, and the Chief Twit
Elon Musk acquired Twitter on October 27, 2022, and marked the occasion by tweeting, “the bird is freed!”
He claimed purchasing the company was a step towards championing free speech. Still, he promised advertisers that the social media network would not be “a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences.”
Twitter ceasing its COVID Misleading Information Policy may seem counter to those claims.
The recent decision will allow users to post false coronavirus claims without penalties. According to TechCrunch, it is probably a response to a declining user base.
Musk implemented major changes weeks after taking over, such as removing nearly half the workforce. Also, Musk changed the verification feature before suspending it until November 29.
Perhaps removing COVID restrictions was an attempt to bring more users to the platform. Still, that action would likely discourage advertisers from returning to Twitter.
Free speech means it is up to users to detect fake news.
Modern times allow us to express ourselves freely, but it comes with great responsibility. We must know how to spot misinformation ourselves.
People fall for fake claims despite Twitter’s COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy. Instead of relying on a platform to police data, you should follow these steps while reading the news.
First, confirm the source. Check the websites where a news article found its info. Check other blogs if the article does not cite its sources.
Second, learn more about the author. See if the writer truly knows the subject by checking their other blogs. More importantly, verify that they are real people.
Third, open the sources and check their data. The writer likely made them up if you cannot find or open them.
Fourth, read other websites that discuss the same issue. Some spark outrage to gain clicks. However, you can protect yourself by learning more from other sources.
Fifth, check the date. Information moves so fast that an issue can change within a few days or hours.
Finally, keep your emotions in check. Some articles target specific groups of people who share common interests or beliefs.
Twitter said it would no longer enforce its COVID Misleading Information Policy. As a result, it may increase the amount of fake news on the platform.
However, you can protect yourself by following the steps we discussed. Free speech lets you be in charge of how information impacts your life.
As mentioned earlier, you should follow reputable sources for reliable information. Start by reading more Inquirer Tech articles for the latest digital news.