Twitter Adds New Labels on False or Misleading COVID-19 Posts

The social media firm rolled out new guidelines for labeling or removing suspicious posts related to the pandemic.
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Twitter is adding labels or warnings to problematic content related to COVID-19.

The company announced the change in a blog post on Monday, saying that it will begin applying labels to false or misleading posts related to the pandemic, and removing them if the risk of harm is deemed severe. 

Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report shares closed 0.87% lower on Monday at $29.69.

"Earlier this year, we introduced a new label for Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media. Similar labels will now appear on Tweets containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19. This will also apply to Tweets sent before today," wrote Twitter head of site integrity Yoel Roth and public policy head Nick Pickles in a blog post. 

Misleading information related to COVID-19 will carry a label if the propensity for harm is deemed "moderate," and will be removed if deemed "severe." Disputed claims will carry either a label or a warning depending on the severity.

The labels will inform users that the information conflicts with guidance of public health experts, and direct them to trusted information about the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter said. Unverified claims will carry no label.   

In April, researchers at Oxford University identified Twitter as a main hotbed of COVID-related misinformation. Misinformation and hoaxes tied to the pandemic have also appeared on a variety of other social networks, such as Facebook  (FB) - Get Report and Google's  (GOOGL) - Get Report YouTube. 

In its latest earnings report, Twitter posted better-than-expected first quarter revenues, offsetting a loss, but warned investors that the pandemic will likely damage its ad revenue for the second quarter. 

Twitter shares have fallen roughly 8% year to date.