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Tipsheet

Twitter's First Transparency Reports Are Here and They're Eye-Opening

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Twitter has published its first set of transparency reports about how the site had operated prior to multi-billionaire Elon Musk taking over the company. Among the reports, the social media giant states they are no longer enforcing its COVID-19 "misleading information policy."

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Musk had promised the release of the transparency reports, saying it is necessary to regain the trust of the public.

 Since January 2020, over 11 million accounts were challenged for violating the COVID-19 information policy, 11,230 accounts were suspended, and 97,674 pieces of content were removed:

The world has changed dramatically since this pandemic was first declared a public health emergency. Since then, public health experts, medical professionals, scientists and researchers have been educating and informing us on how to stay safe, and Twitter has worked to highlight and empower that vital public conversation. As the global vaccination rollout evolves and the pandemic enters a new phase, we are committed to ensuring our rules and enforcement match the changing nature of the content we’re seeing on Twitter. 

Similarly, as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines expands around the world at varying degrees of pace and scale, people continue to turn to Twitter to discuss what’s happening and find the latest authoritative public health information. As such, we continue to prioritize removing or annotating potentially harmful and misleading information to ensure that users can readily find credible information during this critical phase. 

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January 2022 saw the most accounts banned, totaling over 2,200 accounts. This past September, the last full month the policy was in effect, Twitter says only 173 accounts were suspended.

The report comes as Musk promised to reinstate thousands of Twitter accounts, as soon as this week, so long as the accounts did not violate any laws or participate in mass spamming.

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