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Twitter stops policing Covid misinformation under CEO Elon Musk


Elon Musk’s Twitter account is shown on a mobile phone with Elon Musk’s background in this illustration. In Brussels – Belgium November 19, 2022.

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In a recent update to it website, Twitter said that effective November 23, it no longer enforces its Covid-19 misinformation policy.

That means the company will no longer prioritize removing or tagging misleading health information regarding Covid-19.

Twitter said in December 2020 that it will begin labeling and removing misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine as thousands of accounts make false claims about the coronavirus and the adverse effects of vaccinations.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been a vocal critic of how health officials are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. He said during the company’s first-quarter 2020 earnings call that the stay-at-home orders are “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes against all of their constitutional rights.” He also said on “Podcast The Joe Rogan Experience” 2020 that the mortality rate of Covid-19 is much lower than the estimates of health officials.

Musk has pledged to free speech on Twitter, which may partly explain why the change was enacted. But online safety expert has claimed that his approach has led to an increase in hate speech, harassment and misinformation on the platform.

Various civil rights groups earlier this month urge Advertisers halted advertising on Twitter after the company laid off thousands of employees, a move that groups fear would hamper the company’s ability to moderate hateful and other problematic content.

musk declared that the number of hate speech impressions has decreased since October, although it’s not entirely clear how Twitter has measured these impressions.

The change comes like a technology news communication said employees are trying to recover more than 62,000 suspended accounts. That number likely includes some of the more than 11,000 accounts that have been suspended for violating the company’s Covid-19 misinformation rule.

On November 23, Musk shared a poll asked users whether Twitter should grant a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts, as long as they don’t engage in “serious spam” or break any laws. “Yes” received 72.4% of the vote and “No” received 27.6%.

“Everybody has spoken,” Musk said in a tweet the next day. “The amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”‘

The poll is not scientific or does not involve bots.

musk used the same Latin phrasemeans “voice of the people, voice of God,” on November 19 to announce that the former President Donald Trump’s Twitter Account Will Be Restored. Under previous ownership, Twitter issued a permanent ban on Trump’s account after he promoted the January 6 uprising.

The billionaire and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is forced to suspend the first launch of the $8 per month Twitter Blue service after users abused the system by purchasing blue checkmarks to impersonate brands and celebrities. However, he banned some imposters before shutting down the service question his definition of free speech.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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