Twitter announced on Wednesday that it will remove tweets making false or misleading claims about COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to Twitter’s blog post, any tweets claiming that vaccines “intentionally harm population control” or invoking conspiracy theories will be removed. Tweets falsely suggesting that COVID-19 doesn’t exist or embracing “widespread” claims can also be removed. Enforcement of the new policy will begin next week.
Twitter may also post warnings or tweets starting early next year with conspiracy theories about vaccines. These tagged tweets could link to authoritative public health information, similar to how Twitter prompted users to verify voting information in the 2020 election.
“We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach,” the blog post said.
Twitter’s new policy comes as health workers in the US have started receiving COVID-19 vaccinations after the Food and Drug Administration approves the use of a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. These vaccinations have been the target of numerous conspiracy theories, including false allegations that they contain microchips or are used to alter DNA.
The new rules are an extension of the coronavirus-related policies introduced by Twitter earlier this year. In March, Twitter introduced a COVID-19 tab on its Explore page and together with organizations such as the World Health Organization to provide reliable information about the coronavirus on its platform.