WASHINGTON — Twitter will no longer stop users from spreading false information about the COVID-19 virus or vaccines, according to an update on its content moderation policies.
It’s another major shift under new owner Elon Musk, who has pressed for “free speech” above all else on the platform. Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation page was updated with a note saying that as of November 23, the platform would no longer enforce its policies against spreading misleading information on the virus and vaccines — which had led to more than 11,000 account suspensions since 2020.
Since his takeover, Musk has fired huge swaths of the company, including thousands of contract and full-time employees who were responsible for content moderation.
At the same time, several top executives overseeing content moderation policies and enforcement, including Twitter’s former head of Trust and Safety, Yoel Roth, have left the company.
While Twitter never formally announced the change, Twitter users noticed the policy update on Monday night, and it was first reported by CNN. It appears to be part of Musk’s plans to grant “general amnesty” to previously banned accounts — like that of former President Donald Trump — and the tech billionaire has said he’s updating policies this week that would reinstate more accounts.
This could mean the 11,230 accounts suspended since Twitter’s COVID-19 misinformation policy went into effect in early 2020 may soon be or are in the process of being reinstated. One of the biggest repeat offenders was Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), whose personal account was reinstated last week after being suspended for repeatedly breaking Twitter’s policy against spreading false COVID-19 information.
The post Twitter stops enforcing COVID-19 misinformation policy appeared first on Politico.