The Twitter social media site reported on Wednesday that it would begin deleting false or misleading tweets about COVID-19 vaccines that could be detrimental to public health starting next week.
In a blog post the same week, Twitter's policy update revealed that the first doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine were distributed across the US and that the European Union is scheduled to vote on the same vaccine about a week ago. The post said the tweets said that the virus was not present, that it would have to be eliminated by spreading debunked myths about the consequences of getting the vaccine, and that immunizations are used to hurt or regulate citizens.
Twitter said it would also place a mark on tweets about the vaccines starting in early 2021 with "unsubstantiated rumors, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information"
Social media sites have become a breeding ground for conspiracy myths and disinformation about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading. Facebook and YouTube have announced bans on misleading statements against public health practitioners surrounding the vaccine. Several countries have indicated that people are reluctant or unable to obtain a vaccine that could hinder the immunity of herds.
Previously, Twitter deleted posts containing false details concerning the existence of COVID-19, the effectiveness or protection of preventive measures, or the risk of infection.
Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly a year ago, more than 1.6 million people have died from the virus around the world, including 300,000 in the US.