COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness: Twitter taps on the power of conversations

Twitter COVID-19 Vaccine

Unfurling how Twitter has weaved threads of information, raising awareness about the COVID-19 Vaccine, and how it is utilizing the potential of public conversations productively.

Conversations on Twitter have been an integral element of the social network, almost as a public discussion forum that more often than not gives us a sense of the state of the society, and consequently the general mindset around COVID-19 Vaccine, the most significant tool to fight the pandemic.

Sharing an anecdote, initiating a discussion, or putting out a public opinion, conversations related to the vaccine have not been indifferent to this practice. Whether it’s sharing that they got the jab, expressing concerns around its availability, addressing hesitancy, highlighting its efficacy, asking unanswered questions, or augmenting unacknowledged issues.

The active userbase of 199 Mn is constantly engaged in or exposed to several conversations. Here is how the microblogging service is amplifying credible information in partnership with health officials and news publishers, and silencing unreliable misinformation.

Analyzing Conversations

Twitter released a COVID-19 stream endpoint that enables developers to understand the global public conversation through access to the millions of Tweets posted daily around the topic. Developers will need to apply and be accepted for approved access to this endpoint.

The dataset generated can help in developing tools that answer specific community questions about COVID-19, understand the spread of misinformation, and curate an emergency response, and many more use case applications of insights gathered from public conversations on Twitter.

Twitter has made the access available for free and (approved) developers and researchers will be able to study the public conversation about COVID-19 in real-time. The stream endpoint includes a full-fidelity stream of public Tweets related to COVID-19 and Coronavirus as defined in Tweet annotations, delivered as they are created, and does not include private data or protected Tweets.

Facilitating Conversations

Twitter has facilitated several Q&A sessions and public discussions that address the concerns of the community. The platform has worked in association with the Ministry of Health (India) to curate and host a weekly expert talk session, organize Vaccine Vartha.

In partnership with Editorji, an AI-powered news platform, Twitter has also launched a series called #AskTheDoctor, that features medical experts, virologists, members of COVID-19 response teams, public health officials, medical professors, mental health experts and epidemiologists, and more. The series is live-streamed and users can Tweet their questions and get them answered in real-time. An episodic cut of all streams is also available on Twitter and the Editorji app.

Twitter has also curated a dedicated Event page that highlights content series from various news publishers, fact-checking digital news organizations such as CNBC-TV18, BoomLive, and Fact Checker. In, along with the national broadcaster Doordarshan, and more publishers.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness: YouTube’s content marketing play distributes authentic information

State-specific COVID-19 pages for India that curate and display the latest Tweets from people requesting resources, and offering help, along with SOS calls have also been launched by the platform. Six of such pages for states that have been most negatively impacted by the second wave have already been launched, which include Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, KeralaMadhya PradeshMaharashtra, and Punjab.

A Twitter Q&A featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, US President Biden’s chief medical advisor, and other members of the White House COVID-19 response team has also been assisted. Concerns such as efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines amongst pregnant patients, and isolation measures needed to be followed after taking the vaccine, have been addressed by the Q&A.

Regulating Conversations

Along with the COVID-19 Search Prompt, a dedicated section on Explore tab, and Event pages, informational labels on Tweets related to COVID-19 Vaccines that may potentially contain misinformation have also been launched on Twitter.

Fake news and misleading information, or specifically conversations that bear malice towards COVID-19 vaccines have been one of the vices of social networks, but during the vaccination drive that will determine our survival during the pandemic, its negative impact has been intensified.

The informational labels are intended to highlight such Tweets and will appear in the set display language and would link to curated content and official public health information or the Twitter Rules.

Content that violates policies will first be filtered out by the Twitter team, and these decisions and assessments will be used to inform automated tools to develop an equipped mechanism that would proactively identify and label similar content across the platform. Starting with English-language content first, the same process would be expanded to other languages and cultural contexts over time.

Twitter has introduced a strike system in an attempt to tackle misinformation, that determines the enforcement action based on the severity of the violation on the platform, and the degree of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.

The strike system has been outlined as:

  • One strike: No account-level action
  • Two strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • Three strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • Four strikes: 7-day account lock
  • Five or more strikes: Permanent suspension

Users will be notified when an informational label or required Tweet removal also results in additional account-level enforcement. Repeated violations of the COVID-19 policy are enforced on the basis of the number of strikes an account has received. If an account was locked or suspended in error, users can submit an appeal.