Twitter said on Wednesday that it will begin deleting false or misleading tweets about the potentially harmful COVID-19 vaccine, including false claims that the vaccine will intentionally cause harm or control the population or trigger “deliberate conspiracy.”

Twitter’s policy update, at Blog post As part of the mass immunization campaign, the first batch of Americans received the COVID-19 vaccination in the same week and also said that users may be required to delete tweets about false claims about the adverse effects of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

It also prohibits widespread misinformation about the adverse effects of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The new policy will be implemented next week.

During the pandemic, conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus and its potential vaccine have proliferated on social media platforms.

Twitter said that starting early next year, it may also post “warning of unknown rumors, controversial claims, and incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines” or warnings in tweets.

A Twitter spokesperson said the company will work with public health partners to determine which vaccine misinformation is dangerous enough to be eliminated.

Facebook and Alphabet-owned YouTube have both announced in recent weeks that false statements about vaccines are banned, which goes against the information of public health experts.

Twitter previously required users to delete tweets with false or misleading information about the nature of the coronavirus, the effectiveness or safety of preventive measures or treatment, official regulations or the risk of infection or death. The company said it will hide such tweets and prevent users from posting tweets again until they delete them.

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Twitter said it will implement the updated policy from December 21 and will expand these actions in the next few weeks.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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