Twitter is testing a fake news warning system on its platform. Bright labels will appear under tweets with misinformation.

Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo, which was accessible on a publicly available site, is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation it plans to roll out March 5.

In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures will be corrected directly beneath the tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform, and possibly other users who will participate in a new “community reports” feature, which the demo claims is “like Wikipedia.”

I could see “community reports” abused by Twitter trolls mass-reporting anything they disagree with as fake news. Hopefully Twitter builds a good system.

Check It Out: Twitter Tests Fake News Warning System

4 Comments Add a comment

  1. wab95

    Fair point.

    I seldom venture onto Twitter or other social media for curiosity’s sake. The model has selected for outrage over joy, let alone thoughtful, relevant content.

    For some of us, however, social media and their spinoffs and acquisitions, like Messenger and WhatsApp, are unavoidable, particularly as global communications platforms for colleagues and contacts worldwide. Most of international colleagues and staff communicate with me via these platforms, and more often than I’d like, send me content via FB (a visit to which always makes me want to go take a shower). These are more reliable communications platforms than telephony, and effectively no cost.

    As for Twitter, I now only use it to communicate professionally. It is where colleagues and I will announce new studies, publications, or relate important findings at conferences and the like. Twitter provides an excellent communications platform, without as much slime and ooze as one might encounter on FB per unit of time.

    Most importantly, many of my contacts who post there would have no other means to alert people outside of their countries about important and meaningful events, findings and discoveries that have direct relevance to the rest of the planet. So there is still much good and benefit to be had from the likes of Twitter and other platforms. FB, in its current unregulated form, is a harder net value proposition.

  2. wab95

    @geoduck:

    One sympathises. However, there remains good content on Twitter, and at least they are making an effort towards policing intentionally misleading content, which is more than one can say about FB; but that’s not even a low bar.

    Andrew:

    This is step in the right direction from Twitter. It will be important to see how consistently this is implemented. I anticipate that there will be howls, wailing and gnashing of teeth as a result, but if the platform can be transparent about the process, that should assuage any concerns from the fair-minded.

    And should this prove successful by any meaningful metric (eg a reduction in retweets of labelled disinformation relative to related non-labelled content), then it might become a model that regulators could support for other platforms, should they deign to push for such regulation.

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