In its Q2 2020 earnings report, Twitter announced that it has removed 15,000 tweets and challenged 4.5 million accounts for violating its coronavirus rules.
Twitter wrote that as part of its health work, it “aggressively targeted misinformation and toxic or abusive content relating to COVID-19.”
The company also stated that it would be “launching additional proactive detection and remediation tools to reduce abuse and hate speech.”
The release of these stats follows Twitter introducing a series of sweeping restrictions since March that have limited what users are allowed to say about the coronavirus.
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These measures include some users being forced to delete tweets that deny “expert guidance” about the coronavirus, a ban on unverified coronavirus claims that “could” lead to social unrest, and some tweets that contain “disputed” coronavirus claims being hidden behind a warning label.
Twitter’s announcement also follows the company blacklisting QAnon content by blocking links that it deems to be associated with QAnon and preventing content and accounts associated with QAnon from appearing in trends, recommendations, search, and conversations. These restrictions on QAnon content resulted in over 7,000 accounts being deleted and 150,000 accounts being suppressed.
As Twitter and other social media platforms continue limiting what users are allowed to say on their platforms, Facebook and Twitter alternatives that are more free speech friendly have seen a surge in growth with many of these platforms reporting record traffic levels and user numbers in recent months.
Unlike mainstream media platforms that are consistently introducing new rules that restrict what users can post and using artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically censor their users, these alternatives stand against censorship and have policies and technologies in place that promote free expression.