As the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines expands, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what’s happening and find the latest authoritative public health information.
In December, we shared updates on our work to protect the public conversation surrounding COVID-19. Starting today, we will begin applying labels to Tweets that may contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to our continued efforts to remove the most harmful COVID-19 misleading information from the service. Since introducing our COVID-19 guidance, we have removed more than 8,400 Tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide.
We are also introducing a strike system that determines when further enforcement action is necessary. We believe the strike system will help to educate the public on our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter, particularly for repeated moderate and high-severity violations of our rules.
Labels will first be applied by our team members when they determine content violates our policy. Those assessments will be used to further inform our automated tools and to advance our proactive capacity to identify and label similar content across the service. Our goal is to eventually use both automated and human review to address content that violates our COVID-19 vaccine misinformation rules. Machine-learning and automated language processing takes time to be effective. As such, we will begin with English-language content first and use this same process as we work to expand to other languages and cultural contexts over time.
Labels will appear in your set display language and may link to curated content and official public health information or the Twitter Rules. Our goal with these product interventions is to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19.
Through the use of the strike system, we hope to educate people on why certain content breaks our rules so they have the opportunity to further consider their behavior and their impact on the public conversation. This strike system is similar to our recent update to the Civic Integrity Policy. Individuals will be notified directly when a label or required Tweet removal results in additional account-level enforcement. Repeated violations of the COVID-19 policy are enforced against on the basis of the number of strikes an account has accrued for violations of the policy.
As always, if you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.
We are not only focused on enforcing the Twitter Rules, but also helping people find credible health information and partnering with the experts. We continue to work in close consultation with local, national, and global public health authorities around the world, most recently:
As health authorities deepen their understanding of COVID-19 and vaccination programs around the world, we will continue to amplify the most current, up-to-date, and authoritative information. We are all in this together, and we will continue to update you on our progress as we strive to play our part to protect the public conversation at this critical time.