Twitter on Friday outlined new steps it’s taking to limit the spread of misinformation ahead of the US elections in November, including adding more warnings and labels to misleading tweets from politicians.
The move illustrates how social networks are ramping up their efforts to combat misinformation weeks before the Nov. 3 election. More people are relying on social networks to get information about voting and the US elections amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, these sites are also filled with misinformation. This week,new measures it was taking ahead of election day, including banning posts that aim to intimidate voters.
Twitter currently adds labels to certain tweets if they contain misleading information about the coronavirus, voting and other topics. Next week, the company will start showing users a prompt that says the tweet is “disputed” if they try to retweet a misleading tweet with a label. Users will be directed to credible information if they click on a button that says “Find out more.”
Misleading tweets from a US political figure or an account with more than 100,000 followers or a lot of engagement will include a warning that users have to tap through in order to view the tweet. Users will only be able to quote tweet the post and won’t be able to like or retweet the misleading tweet.
“We expect this will further reduce the visibility of misleading information, and will encourage people to reconsider if they want to amplify these Tweets,” Twitter executives said in a blog post.
There have also been concerns that a US presidential candidate will declare victory before the results are official. Twitter said that it will label tweets that include premature victory claims, directing people to its US election page. This move is in line with how Facebook is also planning to tackle the same issue. Twitter said it would remove tweets meant to incite election interference such as through violent action.
The company is also making changes that will impact users globally. Starting October 20 through at least the end of the US Election week, Twitter will be encouraging people to add their own thoughts about a tweet through a quote tweet rather than just retweeting the content. The company is currently testing the change for some users, but didn’t specify how many.
“Though this adds some extra friction for those who simply want to Retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to not only consider why they are amplifying a Tweet, but also increase the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions and perspectives to the conversation,” Twitter executives said.