Twitter rolls back COVID misinformation policy — opening the door for the resurgence of conspiracy theories
Twitter has announced that it will no longer enforce its policy to prohibit the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, an initiative that will likely cause conspiracy theories to become more amplified on the social media platform.
According to Axios, the notice was added to Twitter's transparency page. It reads, "Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy."
The latest announcement comes more than two years after Twitter began cracking down on COVID misinformation. As the pandemic caused global unrest, conspiracy theorists wreaked havoc online by spreading false information about the deadly virus and the efforts to mitigate it.
During that two-year period, Twitter also rolled out a number of other policies to fight the spread of misinformation.
"Twitter announced last year that it would label tweets with potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, and introduce a strike system that can lead to permanent account suspension," Axios reported.
"Between January 2020 and September 2022, Twitter said suspended more than 11,000 accounts for violating its COVID misinformation policy and removed more than 100,000 pieces of content that did so," the news outlet added.
In addition to the latest COVID policy rollback in the midst of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover, the billionaire businessman has also announced a "general amnesty" policy for individuals who had their Twitter accounts suspended. According to Musk, the amnesty policy will specifically be for individuals who had "'not broken the law' or engaged in 'egregious spam.'"
That decision came after Musk announced Twitter reactivated the accounts of former President Donald Trump and rapper Ye, formally known as Kanye West.