Twitter announced it has stopped enforcing its COVID-19 misinformation policy on November 23, not taking action on any tweets breaking their rules in this area. The platform previously held a staunch anti-misinformation stance against the spreading of false information due to the inherent health risks – but under new direction from Elon Musk, Twitter is now looking for open and free expression of all opinions.
The company announced this in an update on its COVID-19 policy page which was published in March 2021. According to the BBC, more than 11,000 accounts had been suspended for breaches of this policy as of September, so the change could open the floodgates for misinformation on the site.
Previously, both automated and manual systems were in place to identify verifiably false information about the virus, including a strike system that would give warnings prior to suspension.
Recently, Musk announced “amnesty” for banned accounts, in which they will be allowed back onto the site in one fell swoop. The move drew large criticism for opening the platform up for “superspreaders of hate”, but this is yet to faze the billionaire.