It feels like it was just yesterday we pointed out that the Twitter censor machine had gone into overdrive, concerning itself with policing mean comments and curse words. Now, the censorship machine is sliding even further down the slippery slope.
In a blog post published yesterday, Twitter said it would be "introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some Tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19."
In other words, the site's efforts to police coronavirus discussion using the WHO as a truth rubric - which resulted in Zero Hedge's permanent ban from the site for accurately predicting that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was likely at the middle of the ongoing global pandemic - hasn't been enough.
The site is taking its coronavirus censorship into "Phase II".
The site says it is now going to append labels to Tweets "containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19" and that the change is going to be retrofit to all previous Tweets.
The labels will link to a "Twitter-curated page or external trusted source containing additional information on the claims made within the Tweet."
Warnings could also be applied to Tweets, the site said. The warnings "will inform people that the information in the Tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it."
Twitter said it will take action based on three broad categories:
- Misleading information — statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.
- Disputed claims — statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.
- Unverified claims — information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.
It then posted this vague chart, which does very little to clear up anything:
Recall, our original post about the Wuhan Institute of Virology that resulted in our ban from Twitter did not include misleading information, disputed claims or unverified claims. We wonder where we would fall on that nebulous-looking chart.
Twitter also says that the site will identify Tweets that "could cause harm by using and improving on internal systems to proactively monitor content related to COVID-19."
Finally, the site said it won't "amplify" Tweets with warnings or labels, essentially giving the site carte blanche to shadowban its own users as it deems necessary.
Meanwhile, while Zero Hedge remains permanently banned, comedienne Jena Friedman, who falsely Tweeted out yesterday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "has tested positive for Covid-19", still has an account up and running despite the Tweet being deleted.
We look forward to continued equal application of the law from the fine Silicon Valley left-wing police at Twitter HQ.