The medical experts and arbiters of truth at Twitter are continuing their fight against the open exchange of ideas on their platform with an update to their Covid-19 policies.
The new policy update was explained in a post by Twitter Safety titled "COVID-19: Our approach to misleading vaccine information."
Side note: every time I see the "Twitter Safety" handle I picture a man in a white coat whispering "this is for your own good" as they strap me to a gurney. Just has that vibe to me.
Okay, let's look at the policy together.
Earlier this year, we shared our approach around the conversation surrounding COVID-19 on Twitter and today we're providing additional guidance on how we plan to address misleading information around COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting next week, we will prioritize the removal of the most harmful misleading information, and during the coming weeks, begin to label Tweets that contain potentially misleading information about the vaccines.
You'll remember, of course, that Twitter has been at war with President Trump, adding warning labels to just about every tweet he sends that deal with election integrity or Covid-19 treatments.
This policy update signals more of the same as it relates to Covid-19 vaccines in particular.
In the context of a global pandemic, vaccine misinformation presents a significant and growing public health challenge — and we all have a role to play.
Their role, apparently, being to decide what you can and cannot read concerning the vaccine. Because everyone knows a surefire way to build trust is by telling people you are hiding things from them because they are too stupid to decide for themselves what to believe.
Twitter has an important role to play as a place for good faith public debate and discussion around these critical public health matters.
In my experience, the best kind of public debate and discussion happens when non-mainstream opinions are silenced so you can better hear the echo of everyone repeating the correct opinion.
Here are Twitter's rules for removing tweets as they currently stand:
Under our current policy, we already require the removal of Tweets that include false or misleading information about:
- The nature of the virus, such as how it spreads within communities;
- The efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease;
- Official regulations, restrictions, or exemptions pertaining to health advisories; and
- The prevalence or risk of infection or death.
Why a Big Tech company thinks they have the chops, or the responsibility for that matter, to decide what is and isn't true is beyond me.
Just. Be. A. Platform.
Let people discuss things and debate things. Yes, there will be "misinformation" but let people combat that with arguments and proof, and allow folks to decide for themselves. Don't insert yourself in the middle to tell all of us plebes what the REAL TRUTH is.
Anyway, here's what's being added to the policy, specifically concerning the vaccines.
Moving forward and beginning next week, we are expanding the policy and may require people to remove Tweets which advance harmful false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations, including:
- False claims that suggest immunizations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations, including statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy;
- False claims which have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations; or
- False claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious, and therefore that vaccinations are unnecessary.
When they say they will "require people to remove Tweets" it means they will do what they did to the New York Post when they published that report on Hunter Biden's laptop. Twitter wouldn't let them post again until they deleted it.
Of course, Twitter was proven to be right in burying that story because it was so full of misinfor—
Wait. Hang on.
—they're telling me that Twitter was wrong about that Biden story? And in seeking to be the arbiters of truth they actually interfered in a presidential election?
Huh. Must have been a fluke.
I'm sure that will never happen again. After all, they are our moral and intellectual betters. If something is worth knowing, I'm sure they will tell us!
Thanks for keeping us safe, Twitter Safety!
These new rules go into effect on December 21st, with additional rules going into effect early next year.
Starting in early 2021, we may label or place a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumors, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines. Tweets that are labeled under this expanded guidance may link to authoritative public health information or the Twitter Rules to provide people with additional context and authoritative information about COVID-19.
When you see the words "authoritative information" a shiver should run down your spine.
I'm not anti-vaccine. I swear. But I am staunchly anti-giant-corporations-telling-me-what-I-can-and-cannot-read.
People should be allowed to make their own informed decisions, whether that's about politics or their own health. It is not the job of governments or tech companies to decide what information I see and believe.
JUST BE A PLATFORM.
It's just so stupid too. Think of it from their perspective. They're trying to convince people who are hesitant about the vaccines that they shouldn't be suspicious.