Bulletins

Twitter challenged millions of accounts disputing COVID-19

The company acted on more than 11 million accounts and tweets that included misleading information related to the virus.

Twitter

Twitter saw increases in content violating nearly all of its policies.

Photo: Joshua Hoehne/Unsplash

Twitter challenged millions of accounts that included misleading information about the viral pandemic, according to a release Wednesday. The company also spelled out increases in content violations in nearly all of its policies during a reporting period from July to December 2020.


Between July 2020 and this month, the social media platform confronted 11.7 million accounts, suspended about 1,500 accounts and deleted about 43,000 pieces of content that contained misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter found that those accounts and tweets violated its COVID-19 guidance, announced last July, which outlines what constitutes as a misleading comment claim related to the virus.

Twitter also saw huge increases in the amount of content violating nearly all of its policies, ranging from civic integrity to self-harm. Here's a breakdown of the report:

    • Twitter saw the biggest jump in content violating its non-consensual nudity policy, a nearly 200% increase compared to the previous reporting period.
    • The company also needed to enforce its civic integrity policy about 175% more than the previous year, largely because of discussion around the presidential election.
    • Twitter also saw a nearly 80% rise in hateful content and found that content relating to suicide and self-harm nearly doubled.
    • Twitter acted on about 140% more accounts that breached its abuse and harassment policy compared to the previous reporting period. The company said it rolled out better machine-learning techniques to detect more violations.
    • There was a slight uptick in the amount of content taken down for child sexual exploitation, a roughly 6% increase.
    • The only category that dipped in violations was content discussing terrorism and violent extremism. Twitter suspended nearly 40% fewer accounts than the previous reporting period.
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