Social media is rife with misleading claims and contradictory statements. In a world where the former President of the United States found himself repeatedly flagged for propagating misleading claims, and others believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax, one can safely say that countermeasures are necessary.
As such, Twitter has now put in place a five strike system that will see users who tweet misinformation be warned and temporarily suspended for violations. While one strike will cause no account-level action, two strikes will lead to a 12-hour account lock; three strikes in another 12-hour account lock; four strikes in a 7-day account lock and five or more strikes means permanent suspension of the account.
"We are also introducing a strike system that determines when further enforcement action is necessary. We believe the strike system will help to educate the public on our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter, particularly for repeated moderate and high-severity violations of our rules," the company said.
This will be applied to English language tweets for the moment, but the microblogging platform plans to roll out the process for other languages over time. As per the blog post shared by Twitter, one can submit an appeal if they think their account was locked or suspended in error.
While the push against misinformation is presently focusing on COVID-19 claims and incorrect claims regarding vaccinations, it is unclear whether a similar system will be applied to fake news and misinformation as a whole.