Tweets that advance harmful, false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be removed from the platform, informed a Twitter spokesperson on Sunday after several tweets on India's COVID-19 response were removed from the microblogging site.
"...We will label or place a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumours, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines. Tweets which advance harmful false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be removed," the spokesperson said.
As per the microblogging website's updated blog, labels will appear in set display language and may link to curated content and official public health information or the Twitter Rules.
‘Our goal with these product interventions is to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19," the blog read.
They also informed about the use of the strike system, similar to their recent update to the Civic Integrity Policy. Repeated violations of the COVID-19 policy are enforced on the basis of the number of strikes.
One strike will not result in account-level action, two strikes and three strikes will enforce a 12-hour account lock. Four strikes will be met with a seven-day account lock, and the person with five or more strikes will be permanently suspended.
The spokesperson for Twitter further informed that users whose content had been was withheld were notified so that they are aware that action had been taken in response to a legal request from the Central government.
"Ahead of withholding the content, we have notified the account holders so that they're aware that the action has been taken in response to a legal request from the Government of India," the spokesperson said, adding that "Twitter is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, details of the requests.
The spokesperson further said that when a valid legal request is received, it is reviewed under both the Twitter Rules and local law. "If found in violation, the content is removed from the service," he added.
"If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only," Twitter added.
The spokesperson also stated that Twitter is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, details of the requests to withhold content that have been published on Lumen.
"In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they're aware that we've received a legal order pertaining to the account. We notify the user(s) by sending a message to the email address associated with the account(s), if available," Twitter said.
The spokesperson further said that misinformation is tackled based on the highest potential for harm and COVID-19 misinformation is being tackled using a combination of product, technology, and human review.
This comes after India is experiencing a record surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths, with over three lakh cases for the past few days.