(ORDO NEWS) — Twitter has backed away from a policy aimed at tackling COVID-19 misinformation on its platform, opening up the risk of a possible surge in false claims despite an increase in cases in China and some parts of the world.
The move also comes amid concerns about Twitter’s ability to combat disinformation after the company, under the leadership of new president Elon Musk, laid off about half of its employees, including those responsible for managing content.
In an update posted by the company on its page, it said, “As of November 23, 2022, Twitter will no longer apply its COVID-19 misinformation policy.” CNN was the first to report the update on Tuesday.
It is not yet clear what exactly Twitter will abandon. The company also did not respond to a request for more information.
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Twitter took a number of measures, including marking and warning messages on tweets that contain controversial information about the health crisis, and it also established a framework that makes users delete tweets that make harmful false claims related to vaccines.
Facebook, owned by Meta Inc., and Google and YouTube, owned by Alphabet, have taken similar measures that are still in effect.
Twitter said earlier this year that since March 2021 it had stopped implementing its “Civil Integrity Policy” related to falsehoods related to the 2020 US presidential election.
Billionaire Musk acquired Twitter on Oct. 27 for $44 billion and moved quickly to make several changes to it and its staff. He said on Oct. 29 that he would form a content management council whose members would have “widely diverse viewpoints”.
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