The tech giant Twitter will cease any enforcement of its controversial “COVID misinformation” policy, in yet another shift back towards Free Speech under Elon Musk’s direction.
According to ABC News, the change was made on Monday night with a one-sentence update to Twitter’s terms and conditions, declaring that “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy.”
Under the policy, any tweets that disagreed with talking points from government organizations, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to the World Health Organization (WHO), would either be outright deleted or covered up with a disclaimer declaring it to be “false or misleading” information. Many users celebrated the change, noting that the policy had previously been used to suppress and censor any skepticism or criticism of the official COVID-19 narrative, ranging from the efficacy and harmful side effects of the vaccines to the true origins of the virus in Wuhan, China.
“This policy was used to silence people across the world who questioned the media narrative surrounding the virus and treatment options,” Dr. Simone Gold tweeted. “A win for free speech and medical freedom!”
Meanwhile, far-left activists took to Twitter to whine and complain about the change, insisting that it was the platform’s duty to censors dissenting information.
“It is 100% the responsibility of the platform to protect its users from harmful content,” said Paul Russo, dean of the Katz School of Science and Health at New York’s Yeshiva University. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”
The end of one of Twitter’s most controversial censorship policies marks the latest step taken by Musk to return the platform to a pro-Free Speech approach to how it handles content and moderates user discussion. After Musk completed his purchase of the company back in October, he fired thousands of Twitter employees, including the CEO and several other top executives, and has since reinstated numerous previously-banned accounts, including President Donald J. Trump.