Twitter ended its COVID misinformation policy under the new leadership of Elon Musk last week, it has been revealed.
A new statement on the social media company’s website revealed that it stopped investigating accounts allegedly spreading misinformation about the pandemic as of November 23.
As reported by The Guardian, users spotted the update this week, and saw the following update made to the website’s online rules: “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”
As of September 2022, Twitter had suspended more than 11,000 accounts for pandemic-related misinformation.
When in action, the policy operated a “five-strike system” for investigated accounts, with the company looking for accounts sharing “demonstrably false or misleading” information that may have led to significant risk of harm”.
Elsewhere at Twitter, Elon Musk has claimed that hate speech has declined on the website following his takeover in October.
It had previously been reported that the use of antisemitic, homophobic, racist and transphobic language had spiked after Musk became head of Twitter.
According to research from The Network Contagion Research Institute, instances of use of the N-word on Twitter increased by nearly 500 per cent. “Evidence suggests that bad actors are trying to test the limits on Twitter. Several posts on 4chan encourage users to amplify derogatory slurs,” the institute wrote.
However, sharing slides from a recent company talk, Musk has claimed that “hate speech impressions are lower” according to internal sources. The accompanying line graph shows that over 10million tweets containing one or more slurs were made the day after Musk took over Twitter, but that number has dropped to just over 2.5million in recent days.
Despite firing several top executives immediately after taking over Twitter and laying off thousands of employees in the weeks since, Musk has also confirmed that Twitter is hiring.
Last week, Musk also allegedly told the remaining Twitter staff that they must “work long hours at high intensity” or leave the company.