Twitter Will Eliminate Fake Tweets The social network has updated its rules to prohibit false information about the coronavirus; in some cases even jokingly
Twitter has joined companies like Facebook and is going to begin removing news containing false information about the coronavirus from its platform. To do this, it will expand its definition of what is harmful content, so that it will now include publications “that go directly against the recommendations of reputable sources of global and local health information systems.”
The company explains all these measures in a blog post in which they also recognize that, while they are working to improve their automated systems to detect this type of content, they still cannot understand the context as a person on their team would, therefore, accounts will not be permanently suspended if the decision is made by one of these ‘robots’.
In general, it could be said that Twitter is going to prohibit lying about the coronavirus: hoaxes about how it is transmitted, who it affects and who does not, how to detect the disease or how to prevent it will be eliminated. However, the company has published a fairly comprehensive guide to its restrictions and ensures that it will continually review its measures to suit the situation.
Thus, the social network will now delete tweets that deny health recommendations made by local authorities to limit exposure to the disease (an example, as they explain themselves, would be to deny the effectiveness of social distancing) or those that cause panic, restlessness or disturbances, such as ensuring that food is not going to be replenished in stores.
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Treatments and prevention measures will also be affected, although they are not necessarily harmful by themselves, they are useless (either because they are in any case or because they are not applicable to this situation) or are shared with the intention of confusing. In this case, even tweets that joke could be affected.
This will apply to both harmless measures – recommending essential oils, for example – and harmful measures – gargling with bleach – as obvious as this may seem to be a joke. In this sense, parody accounts posing as “members of the Government or official organizations” will be affected if they make “specific and unverified statements”.
This point, therefore, seems to be somewhat more in the air, since Twitter does not mention – at least, for the moment – accounts that are camouflaged as the media or the information that is related to the coronavirus in a more tangential way, such as It may be spreading the hoax that a politician or celebrity has been infected.
The dark unscientific and conspiracy hole that certain corners of Twitter, YouTube or Facebook have become could begin to receive some light as a result of these measures. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has already banned ads promising to cure the coronavirus, and later tightened measures again and pledged to provide verified and truthful sources. Google does the same with YouTube and joined forces with other technology companies – including these two – to combat hoaxes.
Now the new Twitter guidelines prohibit denying proven scientific facts about the transmission of the coronavirus or the recommendations made in this regard by the authorities. Also, false information that you intend to manipulate for a specific purpose – not to wash your hands because this is all a set-up by the powerful soap companies, for example – will be eliminated.