Michael Tsai, on Twitter’s decision to censor tweets that go “directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information”:
Obviously, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and they don’t want Twitter to be overrun with it. But some information from health and government sources has turned out to be incorrect, and different authoritative sources don’t always agree with one another. Some potential treatments are approved in certain jurisdictions but banned in others. Knowledge is evolving by the day, but nothing is going to be truly verified scientifically until after this is all over.
This is my line of thinking when social media companies introduce and/or enforce rules like this. For some topics, like COVID-19, the recommendations from various government and scientific sources are contradictory. And more broadly, the people making the definitive decisions about what tweets are deemed false or misleading are often guilty of their own biases.
Unfortunately, this is the path that we have to take. If only because advertisers will demand it — they don’t want to see their brand promoted next to anything they consider to be misleading, incorrect, dangerous, or objectionable. But hopefully we’ll all eventually move away from these platforms, before things get too bad, toward a more open web where each of us share our ideas on our own domains.