Twitter to permanently ban users who spread misinformation about COVID | Social Media News

The social media company says users who continue to post misleading tweets about coronavirus vaccines face a permanent ban from its platform.

Twitter says it will start labeling misleading tweets about COVID vaccines and banning users who continue to spread such misinformation.

The microblogging platform implemented a “strike system” on Monday that will gradually transition to a permanent ban after the fifth offending tweet.

“We believe the strike system will help educate the public about our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post.

“In particular for repeated moderate and serious violations of our rules.”

Twitter users will be notified when a tweet is tagged as misleading or should be removed for violating the platform’s rules, resulting in a strike, according to the company.

The second and third warnings will each result in the offending account being blocked for 12 hours.

With a fourth violation, an account will be sidelined for seven days. A fifth strike will result in permanent account suspensions, Twitter said.

Late last year, the social media company began calling on users to remove dangerously misleading COVID-19 claims, including suggestions that vaccines are used to harm or control people.

The service has also targeted baseless claims about adverse effects of vaccines or questioning the reality of the pandemic.

Since then, Twitter has deleted more than 8,400 tweets and notified some 11.5 million accounts worldwide of violations of its COVID-19 disclosure rules.

The strike system is similar to what Twitter applies to election-related misinformation, which led to the permanent ban of former US President Donald Trump for repeated violations, including language that the platform says could incite violence and call into question the integrity of the voting process.

Vaccination campaigns against COVID are taking place in many countries in an effort to keep people healthy and return to pre-pandemic lifestyles.

YouTube and Facebook are among the online platforms that have taken action to combat the spread of lies about the pandemic and vaccines.