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Helping you find reliable public health information on Twitter

By Kara Hinesley
Friday, 18 December 2020

A key part of our mission to serve the public conversation is ensuring people in Australia can find information from authoritative health sources on the service. 

#COVID19 was Tweeted nearly 400 million times worldwide this year, making it the most Tweeted hashtag in Australia as well as globally. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked closely with government and health authorities in Australia and around the globe to highlight public health messages with a dedicated COVID-19 tab in Explore, COVID-19 Event pages, custom emojis for health messages such as #WashYourHands, verifying the accounts of health authorities, and COVID-19 search prompts.

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As conversation around COVID-19 vaccines and immunisation increases on Twitter, it’s important that people in Australia can identify trusted information from health authorities.

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We’re partnering with the Australian Department of Health to launch the #KnowTheFacts search prompt, which will show credible information related to immunisation, including COVID-19 vaccines, at the top of the search experience. 

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This means when someone in Australia searches for certain keywords associated with vaccines on Twitter, a prompt will direct them to the Department of Health’s information resources on vaccination and the official Department of Health Twitter account.

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Australians come to Twitter to join the public conversation, which is why it is vital that people can find reliable and credible information about COVID-19 vaccines on our service. We understand the importance of immunisation in preventing illness and recognise the role that Twitter plays in disseminating public health information. 

The search prompt builds on our existing work to guard against the spread of misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. 

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Our policies already ensure that advertising content on Twitter does not contain misleading claims about the cure, treatment, diagnosis or prevention of certain diseases and conditions, including vaccines. Additionally, we do not auto-suggest queries that are likely to direct individuals to non-credible commentary and information about immunisation. 

The Australian version of the #KnowTheFacts notification is part of a global effort, with similar prompts available in the United States, Canada, UK, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

We’re grateful to our partners at the Australian Department of Health for their collaboration in launching this dedicated product feature and ensuring access to vital public health information on Twitter. 

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@karahinesley

Kara Hinesley

‎@karahinesley‎

Head of Public Policy, Australia and New Zealand

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