Twitter makes huge switch up over Covid misinformation

San Francisco, California - Social media platform Twitter is no longer taking action against misinformation about the coronavirus following its takeover by billionaire Elon Musk.

Twitter said it is "no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading information policy."
Twitter said it is "no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading information policy."  © Collage: REUTERS & ANNA MONEYMAKER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The corresponding measures were already quietly suspended on Wednesday last week, according to a message on a Twitter website saying it is "no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading information policy."

The company had established rules in 2020 to stop the spread of false and misleading information about the virus and vaccines during the pandemic.

At the time, Twitter cited danger to people who might use unscientific treatments or forgo vaccinations. In total, more than 100,000 posts were removed and more than 11,000 accounts suspended for violating the rules, according to earlier reports.

The move received a lot of criticism, mainly from the US right-wing political camp.

Musk himself has repeatedly downplayed the 2020 pandemic. He was also a critic of lockdowns, which at times also halted production at the main plant of his electric car manufacturer Tesla.

By his own admission, the 51-year-old has contracted Covid-19 twice.

Musk closed his $44 billion buyout deal with the company in October, and has been making sweeping changes since, including firing the entire board of directors and laying off nearly half the company's workforce, which included content moderators and the human rights team.

He has attempted to soothe some with the promise of a "content moderation council" and is currently in the process of restoring accounts blocked on Twitter on a large scale and instating a new verification system.

Musk has already decided to reinstate a few previously banned Twitter accounts, citing "freedom of speech."

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & ANNA MONEYMAKER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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