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Twitter To Remove Coronavirus Misinformation, Including That Tweeted By Trump

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Twitter To Remove Coronavirus Misinformation, Including That Tweeted By Trump

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) announced on Monday that it will start labeling novel coronavirus (COVID-19) related information for misleading or contested claims starting the same day.

Twiter To Target Harmful COVID-19 Content

Tweets will be marked among three broad categories, including "misleading information," "disputed claim," and "unverified claim," the social media company said in a statement.

The broad categories will be further judged on a case-by-case basis to determine if they are "moderate" or "severe" in terms of the harm they can cause.

Any misleading information with a "severe" rating will be removed from the platform, Twitter noted. Severe disputed claims might receive a warning, while both moderate misleading claims and moderate disputed claims will be labeled.

The labels on the tweets will link to a Twitter-curated page of authoritative information or an external trusted source, the company representatives noted.

Twitter Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth told reporters on a call that the company's aim isn't to fact-check the entire internet, but directly tackle tweets that have the potential to cause harm during the crisis, the National Public Radio reported.

Only those messages that "directly pose a risk to someone's health or well-being" will be pulled off Twitter, he said, according to the NPR.

'World Leaders' Won't Be Exempted

Roth clarified later on Twitter that there won't be any exemptions when tackling the misinformation, including President Donald Trump.

"These labels will apply to anyone sharing misleading information that meets the requirements of our policy, including world leaders," he said.

Trump has drawn ire for suggesting injection of disinfectant to cure COVID-19 and promoting consumption of unproven antimalarial drugs for the coronavirus, even as the health experts in the White House Coronavirus Task Force advised caution.

Other social media companies, including Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Alphabet Inc.'s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube, have previously started implementing similar policies to tackle coronavirus-related misinformation on their platforms.

Twitter Price Action

Twitter shares closed 0.8% lower at $29.69 on Monday. The shares dipped further in the after-hours at $29.55.

 

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