Liberals on Twitter raged over the fact that Twitter under Elon Musk removed its COVID-19 “misleading information protocol in recent days, a protocol that resulted in the suspension of 11,000 users that have posted pandemic information.”
Critics reacted to the news, claiming “dangerous” users are being welcomed onto platform with the end of such policies.
The decision appears to follow Musk’s appeal to protecting free speech on the platform, as well as his plans to grant “amnesty” to accounts banned prior to his acquisition of the platform.
On Tuesday, Fox Business quoted Twitter’s official announcement ending the policy, which stated, “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”
The piece stated, “Additionally, the COVID-19 policy is no longer listed on Twitter’s, “How we address misinformation on Twitter” explainer, and the URL for the misinformation policy now redirects to Twitter’s Help Center.”
The previous policy, enacted in March 2020, announced that Twitter posts going against “authoritative sources” on COVID-19 would be removed. As such, over 11,000 Twitter accounts have been suspended in the last two years for violating the policy.
Media spotted the change in policy several days after it went into effect. CNN reported on it Tuesday morning, with a piece headlined, “Twitter said it will no longer enforce its longstanding Covid misinformation policy, yet another sign of how Elon Musk plans to transform the social media company he bought a month ago.”
Prominent liberals on Twitter expressed shock and dismay over reports of the reversal.
Hollywood screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer shared the CNN report, commenting, “What kind of S*** headline is this, @CNN? How about ‘Dangerously amplifying lies that may cost lives…’?”
BBC freelance reporter Euan MacDonald commented on the serious nature of the change, tweeting, “This is an international health issue.”
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar tweeted about the policy change, writing, “Twitter is no longer enforcing its Covid misinformation policy that was once hailed by the Surgeon General as an example of what companies should do to combat misinformation.”
Epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding appeared distressed over the reversal, tweeting, “Bad news—it seems @Twitter just updated its misleading info policy that #COVID19 misinformation will no longer be enforced. The 11k accounts that were suspended under the old policy will soon be restored. Stay folks—do NOT cede the town square to them!”
Liberal Georgetown professor Don Moynihan tweeted that Musk will be held accountable for this spreading of “misinformation.” He wrote, “It’s easy to snipe from the sidelines, but Musk is now the dog that caught the car. Grand proclamations about free speech won’t cut it. The costs of his decision (e.g. on allowing misinformation) and hypocrisies (potential tensions with China) will be scrutinized.”
Liberal influencer Brendan Nyhan sarcastically responded to Keilar’s tweet on the news, asking, “What could go wrong?”
And liberal author Robert Swartwood tweeted sarcastically about the news as well, asking, “Gee, I wonder why advertisers are fleeing Twitter?”