On November 23, Twitter declared that it would no longer enforce its COVID-19 misinformation policy and would not take any action against any tweets that did so. Due to the inherent health dangers, the site has previously taken a strong anti-misinformation stance. However, under new guidance from Elon Musk, Twitter is now aiming for open and free expression of all ideas.
This was disclosed by the firm in a March 2021 update to its COVID-19 policy page. The BBC reports that as of September, more than 11,000 accounts had been suspended for violating this restriction, so the change may make it easier for false information to spread on the website.
In the past, verifiably incorrect information regarding the virus could be found using both automated and manual procedures, including a strike system that issued alerts before suspension.
Musk has declared “amnesty” for banned accounts, under which they will instantly be permitted back onto the website. The decision sparked strong criticism for providing a forum for “superspreaders of hate,” but the billionaire seems unfazed by this.