Twitter targets coronavirus misinformation

Twitter is expanding its coronavirus misinformation policy to include a wider variety of content that could put people at risk of transmitting or contracting COVID-19.

Under the new rules announced Wednesday, Twitter will require users to take down posts that deny expert recommendations, promote fake treatments and prevention techniques, or misleadingly claim to be from authorities.

It will also take action against posts alleging that any particular group or nationality is more or less susceptible to coronavirus.

In a blog post that includes an extended list of the content violating the new policy, Twitter also said it is adjusting how it locates posts and enforces rules.

The social media platform is increasing its use of machine learning and automation, although no permanent suspensions will be made using automated enforcement.

Twitter on Thursday denied a request by President Trump’s campaign to put a “manipulated media” warning tag on content spread by Democrats under the social media giant’s new policy aimed at curbing the spread of misinformation.

According to emails reviewed by The Hill, the Trump campaign flagged new content on Twitter that it said had been deceptively edited to make it seem like the president had called the coronavirus a “hoax.”

At issue is a new video that has been viewed millions of times featuring audio of Trump saying: “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.”

The Washington Post’s fact checkers gave Four Pinocchios to a previous advertisement from former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign using the same audio.

Trump’s full quote was: “Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’, ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue … And this is their new hoax. But you know we did something that’s been pretty amazing.”