Twitter has announced that it has stopped enforcing its policy in relation to misinformation about coronavirus. According to the social media giant’s website, it stopped taking any action against tweets violating covid rules on Wednesday November 23.
As recently as September, the social media portal had reported that it had suspended more than 11,000 accounts for Covid misinformation.
However, last month Twitter was bought by South African born billionaire Elon Musk for $44billion.
Mr Musk has vowed to make the social media site a hub for free speech, but Twitter’s other policies on false information remain on the app with no similar notice saying that they will no longer be enforced.
Under its Covid policy, Twitter operated a “five-strike system” for accounts that posted content that was “demonstrably false or misleading”.
According to the website, such content could “lead to significant risk of harm” such as exposure to Covid or damage to public health systems.
If misinformation was posted once then no action would be taken.
However, repeat offenders could face suspension for hours, days or even permanently if they received five strikes.
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“A win for free speech and medical freedom!”
In contrast, epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding said it was a retrogressive step but urged people to stay on the site to fight misinformation.
He said: “Bad news. Stay folks – do NOT cede the town square to them!”
In 2020, Mr Musk described the “coronavirus panic” as “dumb” as well as describing lockdowns as “fascist” and “forcible imprisoning.”