It is not a surprise nowadays to find people online downplaying the risks involved in the ongoing pandemic. And what can be a better platform than Twitter to aid people in doing that. Downplaying a pandemic that has made the economy worldwide to shut down and bring it to a halt can have results that are more than severe. Therefore, the Twitter Company as a whole has decided to take necessary and extra steps to remove and ban tweets involving the wrong spread of information about the COVID-19.
The company will be sweeping through every tweet that involves the word ‘COVID-19’ or ‘Coronavirus.’ And will make sure that no such tweet exists, which may involve the risk of spreading the virus further.
It was yesterday that the company introduced a new policy to its safety guidelines and protocols, which stated that the company would be liable to remove any tweet that ‘could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19’. According to the Twitter Safety handle, any content that puts people in the risk of spreading the virus, or denies following expert guidelines, encouraging people to go for fake treatments, diagnostic techniques, preventions and providing ‘misleading content purporting’ to be from COVID-19 experts, will be banned effective immediately.
On receiving the notice, various news portals got in touch with Twitter asking for further clarification on the matter. Twitter replied by saying that they will be considering various other facts like the user account history. On finding a suspicious tweet, the user will be notified instantly by an email along with a request to remove the tweet. During the entire process, the tweet will be hidden from view, to restrict it from further spread.
There have been several incidents where a Twitter user has asked its followers to drink bleach as a cure for COVID-19. Other than that, there have been tweets that mentioned ‘social distancing’ is not effective. Some other tweets related to unauthorized treatment and medical checkups related to COVID-19 were also found and removed immediately.
The company has also found tweets that have patronized and asked its followers to go against the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization and other government bodies. A particular tweet that asked its followers to go out and patronize a bar as the current ongoing pandemic is nothing but fraud has had his account, as well as tweet, been taken down.
Twitter is also following a strict protocol against racism, where certain communities have been targeted for racist comments based on their eating habits or demographics. Any tweet found encouraging such behavior will receive a warning at first, and if the user continues to defy the warning, the company will take strict action against them. Further updates on how many such tweets have been found and banned are still awaited.