Twitter suspends policy on warnings about Covid-related misinformation


Twitter stopped enforcing its policy on warnings about misinformation related to the coronavirus on its platform, in yet another controversial measure taken by the management of billionaire Elon Musk, who acquired the social network in late October.

The overthrow of the alert policy against fake news was not formally announced by the company, but users noted that, in page where the measurement is describedadded the addendum: “As of November 23, Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid misinformation policy.”

Still in the early months of the global pandemic, in 2020, the company adopted a series of measures to deoxygenate the misinformation surrounding the topic. One was the inclusion of labels and warning messages in tweets with false information about the health crisis.

Other platforms, such as Facebook and Youtube, have taken similar actions. Information checking agencies show that, especially when there is a new wave of cases of the disease —like the one now occurring in Brazil, with the circulation of new strains of the omicron variant—, misinformation proliferates on social networks again.

Twitter has already adopted similar measures for other events, such as the US presidential election in 2020, when Donad Trump and Joe Biden were contested – and the Democrat was elected. At the time, the platform labeled and downgraded the scope of misinformation about the election, in what was called a policy of civic integrity.

But the company was later criticized earlier this year when it was reported that it had lifted the policy in March 2021, without communicating to users. During the midterms, the American midterm elections, held in early November, the policy was adopted again.

Elon Musk took over Twitter on Oct. 27 following a $44 billion deal. His management applied a policy of mass dismissal of employees, which aroused fear in users that the entire platform moderation policy would go down the drain.

The fear escalated due to the fact that Musk, a critic of these policies, described himself as an absolutist of freedom of expression and had already stated that the acquisition did not come from an economic motivation, but from the idea that making the social network a private company It is a way of guaranteeing the free flow of ideas.

Musk has already said, for example, that former President Donald Trump will once again have a profile on the platform. The republican’s account was banned in January last year, two days after the invasion of the Capitol, the seat of the American Legislature.

At the time, the company said that an analysis of recent messages on Trump’s account revealed that there was a risk of incitement to violence.

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