After United States President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, social media channels reported a surge of posts related to his health. Although, the majority have expressed their worry and hoped for his speedy recovery, others have approached the situation unfavourably. Now, Twitter has taken action against the latter and claims that it is against its guidelines. Therefore, users who tweet content that could be considered by moderators as a violation – wishing and hoping for his death from SARS-CoV-2 – will be suspended.

Additionally, comments made on Trump's official Twitter page and tweets will be examined for similar offences and addressed appropriately. The service's Abusive Behavior policy states: "We do not tolerate content that wishes, hopes or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against an individual or group of people." On the other hand, the company clarifies that depending on the severity of the violation it might not mean outright suspension in some cases.

Twitter notes that it "won't take enforcement action on every Tweet. We're prioritising the removal of content when it has a clear call to action that could potentially cause real-world harm." Some users who have tweeted anything pertaining to Trump's death by COVID-19 will be prompted to remove their post and could see their accounts set to "read only" for a specific period. It was not indicated as to how long the penalty would span before they can upload anything again.

Meanwhile, with the upcoming polls less than a month away, social media services are on high alert over election-related misinformation. After Trump's controversial win in 2016, investigations conducted by political analysts claim it was allegedly disrupted by Russia at the time. Thus, voters are urged to be wary of misleading posts. Twitter plans to help with the introduction of its election hub feature, which will provide real-time reports and updates before and when voting begins.

Twitter policy bans misleading election results claim
An updated Twitter policy will ban misleading claims about election results and the voting process, including any unverified claims of victory or efforts to interfere with the transfer or power. Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY

In a related report, Twitter developers have updated the platform to help investors monitor stocks. This can be found under Business and Finance > Investing > Stocks. Notable companies featured include JPMorgan, Zoom, Amazon, Disney, Google, Tesla, and Apple, among others. The list will continue to grow in the succeeding weeks.