A press release from the company of San Francisco announces that, since November 23, the specific regulations to combat the dissemination on the social network of false health information has been abandoned.
MO12345lemonde with AP and AFP
By seizing Twitter for $ 44 billion (42.5 billion euros), the American businessman Elon Musk has undertaken to upset the moderation of content on the social network. After the mass recovery of banned accounts, the billionaire has taken an additional step by ending the fight against disinformation on the COVVI-19.
A brief press release from the San Francisco company, relayed on Tuesday, November 29, by the American press, confirmed what some had noticed for a few days: “From November 23, 2022, Twitter no longer applies the Rules concerning the deceptive information on the COVVI-19. “
Like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, during the pandemic, Twitter had implemented specific rules to combat false health information. The platform had notably decided to report and remove the messages containing disinformation on the vaccines against the COVVI-19, then to suspend the accounts concerned after five reminders.
“We believe that this warning system will help educate the public on our regulations and better reduce the spread of potentially dangerous or deceptive information on Twitter,” said the social network in March 2021.
But Elon Musk, the new boss of the platform, advocates an absolute vision of freedom of expression. And he never made mystery of his opinion about the health restrictions put in place during the pandemic, especially when they meant the temporary closure of his Tesla factory in California.
“Tell people that they cannot leave their homes and that they would be arrested if they did it, it’s fascist. It is not democratic. It is not freedom. people their damn freedom, “he had taken himself in April 2020, at a conference call for financial analysts.
For medical experts, this change may have the consequences of discouraging vaccination and slowing down other efforts to fight against the virus that is still spreading.
“Bad news”, Tweeted the American epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding , who argues that 11,000 accounts suspended under the old policy will soon be restored. The American scientist with 717,000 subscribers urged people not to flee Twitter but to continue to fight against bad information on the virus. “Stay guys – don’t give way to them!”
Figures concerning the contamination due to COVVI-19 are increasing in the United States with 38,800 new cases declared on Monday, according to data from Johns hopkins University -Much less than in winter 2021-2022, but a figure probably underestimated due to the decrease in tests.
More than 300 people die daily from COVID-19 in the country according to the most recent daily averages. A fifth of the population has not been vaccinated and most Americans did not receive the latest reminders and many have stopped carrying masks.
When he arrived at the head of Twitter, and between two provocations, Elon Musk tried to reassure the NGOs and advertisers who feared a blazing of toxic content – hate speech, disinformation, etc. He repeated that the regulation of the platform had not changed and that the banned accounts would not be restored before the creation of a content moderation council.
Pain lost: many brands have fled, and Elon Musk, considering herself betrayed, has taken action. He has launched polls from his Twitter account, reflecting according to him the “voice of the people”, and reinstalls the profile of ex -president Donald Trump – suspended in January 2021 for appeal to violence. According to the specialized newsletter “platform” , the boiling leader also asked engineers still employed to restore some 62,000 accounts that had been banned for repeated offenses.