Twitter to warn when people post coronavirus info that may 'conflict with guidance from public health experts'

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Twitter announced Monday it will begin to issue warnings on coronavirus-related tweets containing information that conflicts with guidance from public health officials.

Twitter will take a case-by-case approach to how it decides which tweets are labeled and will only remove posts it deems harmful, according to company leaders.

A screen shows the price of Twitter stock at the New York Stock Exchange. 

A screen shows the price of Twitter stock at the New York Stock Exchange.  (AP)

Some tweets include a label underneath that directs users to a link with additional information about the virus. Other tweets may be covered entirely by a warning label alerting users that "some or all of the content shared in this tweet conflict with guidance from public health experts regarding COVID-19."

The warnings will begin appearing on tweets as soon as today and could apply retroactively to past tweets.

Twitter won't directly fact-check or call tweets false on the site, said Nick Pickles, the company's global senior strategist for public policy.

"People don't want us to play the role of deciding for them what's true and what's not true but they do want people to play a much stronger role providing context," Pickles said.

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Twitter’s new rule comes as other tech giants like Google, Facebook, and YouTube ramp up their efforts to crack down on virus-related misinformation on their platforms.

Last month, Facebook began alerting users who interacted with coronavirus misinformation by directing them to the World Health Organization's fact page.

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Twitter said it will continue to take down COVID-19-related tweets it deems unsafe, along with any attempts to incite mass violence or civil unrest. The company has already been removing bogus claims about coronavirus cures and assertions that social distancing or face masks do not curb the virus' spread.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.