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Twitter drops its Covid-19 misleading information policy

Twitter has ditched its COVID-19 misinformation policy as part of new owner Elon Musk’s pro-free speech agenda for the platform.

Under the policy, tweets deemed to contain misleading information could be censored and slapped with a label disputing the contents.

 But the company quietly announced the change – which was implemented on November 23 – on the ‘transparency’ page of the website.

The post said: ‘Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misinformation policy.’ 

Twitter had developed the extensive set of rules in 2020 in a bid to prevent ‘harmful misinformation’ about COVID and vaccines.

Before Musk’s Twitter takeover, the social media giant suspended more than 11,000 accounts for breaking their coronavirus misinformation rules and 100,000 pieces of content were removed. 

It comes as Musk vowed to soon reinstate previously banned Twitter accounts which could include some of the 11,000 suspended under the previous coronavirus rules.

On the company’s website, the change, which was implemented on November 23, was last night quietly added via a note on the ‘transparency’ page that some users spotted. Pictured: Musk

The post said: 'Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misinformation policy'

The post said: ‘Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misinformation policy’

While it has not formally been explained why the rules have changed, the billionaire appears to be anti vaccine mandates and in the past seemed to back a protest against them, writing ‘Canadian truckers’ rule, in response to a demonstration. It is despite the fact he has said he and his family are fully vaccinated.

His decision to outlaw the coronavirus misleading information policy comes as America is still seeing 305,000 cases and 2,600 deaths a week, according to the CDC.

He has also made a huge number of other changes at Twitter to misinformation policies and procedures. 

One change announced days ago was that suspended Twitter accounts will be offered an ‘amnesty’ from this week after a poll revealed a landslide of users support the move.

The Twitter CEO, who completed a $44 billion takeover in October, said accounts for users will be restored as long as they have not broken the law or spammed people on the social media site.

While it has not formally been explained why the rules have changed, the billionaire appears to be anti vaccine mandates and in the past seemed to back a protest against them, writing 'Canadian truckers' rule , in response to a demonstration. It is despite the fact he has said he and his family are fully vaccinated

 While it has not formally been explained why the rules have changed, the billionaire appears to be anti vaccine mandates and in the past seemed to back a protest against them, writing ‘Canadian truckers’ rule , in response to a demonstration. It is despite the fact he has said he and his family are fully vaccinated

The poll posted online asked: ‘Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?’

Some 72.4 percent of voters said yes, while 27.6 percent said no. There were 3,162,112 votes cast during the 24-hour poll.

Musk said on Thursday: ‘The people have spoken. Amnesty begins next week. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.’ The Latin phrase means ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’.

The declaration opens up the possibility that thousands of suspended accounts will be immediately reinstated. It has not been revealed if there will be a vetting process before the reactivation or if there will be a mass reactivation. 

Musk has already restored Donald Trump, Kanye West, Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson and Marjorie Taylor Green’s accounts. It is likely that he could also reinstate other controversial Twitter accounts including figures such as Steve Bannon, Wiley and Katie Hopkins.

The declaration opens up the possibility that thousands of suspended accounts will be immediately reinstated. It has not been revealed if there will be a vetting process before the reactivation or if there will be a mass reactivation. Pictured: Trump, whose Twitter account Musk has reinstated

The declaration opens up the possibility that thousands of suspended accounts will be immediately reinstated. It has not been revealed if there will be a vetting process before the reactivation or if there will be a mass reactivation. Pictured: Trump, whose Twitter account Musk has reinstated 

Musk has already restored Donald Trump, Kanye West, Andrew Tate, pictured, Jordan Peterson and Marjorie Taylor Green's accounts. It is likely that he could also reinstate other controversial Twitter accounts including figures such as Steve Bannon, Wiley and Katie Hopkins

Musk has already restored Donald Trump, Kanye West, Andrew Tate, pictured, Jordan Peterson and Marjorie Taylor Green’s accounts. It is likely that he could also reinstate other controversial Twitter accounts including figures such as Steve Bannon, Wiley and Katie Hopkins

And earlier this month, in another change, Musk fired Twitter contractors responsible for battling misinformation on the site. The social media giant fired its contractors that track hate and other harmful content.

Some of the contractors said they did not know they were fired until they tried to login for work. 

As fears on misinformation grow, it was last night revealed that the White House are monitoring Musk’s account.

It comes after the WHO warned in April of the dangers of vaccine and health misinformation ahead of the takeover by Musk, Bloomberg reported.

Some contractors said they had no idea they were fired until they were unable to log onto the company's systems. Pictured: Twitter headquarters in San Francisco

Some contractors said they had no idea they were fired until they were unable to log onto the company’s systems. Pictured: Twitter headquarters in San Francisco 

Elsewhere, in another development in Musk’s Twitter takeover, he last night accused Apple of threatening to remove the social media giant from its app store. 

He also accused Apple of stopping advertising on Twitter along with a raft of others. There are concerns over Musk’s content moderation plans.

The world’s richest man said he was in the dark about why Apple had allegedly threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store.

He tweeted Apple’s CEO directly – asking: ‘What’s going on here @tim_cook?’

Elsewhere, in another development in Musk's Twitter takeover, he last night accused Apple of threatening to remove the social media giant from its app store

 Elsewhere, in another development in Musk’s Twitter takeover, he last night accused Apple of threatening to remove the social media giant from its app store

Meanwhile, in the early days after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in late October and dismissed its board of directors and top executives, the billionaire Tesla CEO sought to assure civil rights groups and advertisers that the platform could continue tamping down hate.

That message was reiterated by Twitter’s then-head of content moderation, Yoel Roth, who tweeted that the November 4 layoffs only affected ‘15% of our Trust & Safety organization (as opposed to approximately 50% cuts company-wide), with our front-line moderation staff experiencing the least impact.’

Roth has since resigned from the company, joining an exodus of high-level leaders who were tasked with privacy protection, cybersecurity and complying with regulations.

Meanwhile, in the early days after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in late October and dismissed its board of directors and top executives , the billionaire Tesla CEO sought to assure civil rights groups and advertisers that the platform could continue tamping down hate. That message was reiterated by Twitter's then-head of content moderation, Yoel Roth, pictured, who has since left the company

Meanwhile, in the early days after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in late October and dismissed its board of directors and top executives , the billionaire Tesla CEO sought to assure civil rights groups and advertisers that the platform could continue tamping down hate. That message was reiterated by Twitter’s then-head of content moderation, Yoel Roth, pictured, who has since left the company 

Musk’s decision to drop the Covid-19 misinformation policy has materialized after he  came under fire previously for expressing controversial opinions on vaccines and coronavirus. He said in 2020 that fears of the virus were ‘dumb’ and falsely claimed that children were ‘essentially immune’ before branding lockdowns ‘fascist.’

But he backtracked in 2021, saying on Twitter: ‘I do support vaccines in general and covid vaccines specifically’ and said that ‘rare’ allergic reactions can be ‘easily addressed.’ 

He wrote: ‘To be clear, I do support vaccines in general & covid vaccines specifically. The science is unequivocal.

‘In very rare cases, there is an allergic reaction, but this is easily addressed with an EpiPen.’

Musk's decision to drop the Covid-19 misinformation policy has materialized after he came under fire previously for expressing controversial opinions on vaccines and coronavirus. He said in 2020 that fears of the virus were 'dumb' and falsely claimed that children were 'essentially immune' before branding lockdowns 'fascist.' Pictured: Musk with his family- partner Grimes and their son

Musk’s decision to drop the Covid-19 misinformation policy has materialized after he came under fire previously for expressing controversial opinions on vaccines and coronavirus. He said in 2020 that fears of the virus were ‘dumb’ and falsely claimed that children were ‘essentially immune’ before branding lockdowns ‘fascist.’ Pictured: Musk with his family- partner Grimes and their son 

But he backtracked in 2021, saying on Twitter: 'I do support vaccines in general and covid vaccines specifically' and said that 'rare' allergic reactions can be 'easily addressed'

But he backtracked in 2021, saying on Twitter: ‘I do support vaccines in general and covid vaccines specifically’ and said that ‘rare’ allergic reactions can be ‘easily addressed’

He had previously stirred up concerns about vaccine safety when he suggested that the second dose could be harmful.  

Musk was replying to a post someone had shared about their parents’ refusing to get the vaccine ‘based on stuff they saw on Facebook.’

He appeared to add fuel to the so-called ‘Facebook brainwashing effect’ cited by the social media user when he raised concerns about ‘quite a few negative reactions’ to the second shot.

TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S CHAOTIC ATTEMPT TO TAKEOVER TWITTER 

April 2: Musk announces that he owns 9.2 percent of the company, making him its largest single shareholder 

April 14: Musk offers to take Twitter private at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at $44billion 

April 25: Twitter accepts Musk’s offer

April 29: Musk sells $8billion in Tesla shares to finance deal 

May 13: Musk says Twitter deal is on hold pending a review of bot accounts

May 26: Musk is sued by Twitter for stock manipulation during takeover 

July 8:  Musk says he’s backing out of the deal. Twitter sues, trying to force him into seeing it through.

October 4: Musk proposes again to go ahead with the deal at the original price

October 17: Proposed trial date in Delaware

October 26: Musk visits Twitter HQ with a sink, updates his bio on the site to ‘Chief Twit’ and sets his location to Twitter HQ

October 27: Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter is finally completed

October 28: Musk fires top Twitter employees, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and top counsel Vijaya Gadde, the woman responsible for banning President Trump after the January 6 riots last year.

October 30: Twitter employees are told by Musk to make verified accounts a feature that’s exclusive to Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service

October 31: Musk confirms he’s the new CEO of Twitter and dissolves the board of directors

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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