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Twitter breaks COVID vaccine misinformation

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Twitter says it has begun tagging tweets that contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, using a “strike system” to eventually remove accounts that repeatedly break its rules.

The company said Monday it had begun using human reviewers to assess whether the tweets violated its COVID vaccine misinformation policy. Eventually, the work will be done with a combination of people and automation, it says.

Twitter had already banned some COVID-related misinformation in December, including falsifications about the spread of the virus, the effectiveness of the masks, the risk of infection and death.

“Through the strike system, we hope to inform people why certain content is breaking our rules so that they can take into account their behavior and their impact on public speaking in the future,” Twitter said in a blog post on Monday.

People who have a single violation or strike will see no action. Two strikes will result in the account being locked for 12 hours. Five or more users will receive a permanently banned Twitter user.

Facebook has also stepped up its fight against vaccine misinformation after years of incomplete enforcement. Last month, it announced an expanded policy to include all vaccines, not just the COVID-19 vaccine.

The San Francisco-based Twitter says the new tags apply only to COVID vaccines, not others.

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