Twitter Tests Feature That Lets Users Report COVID-19 and Election Misinformation

Recently, Twitter announced that it will test a misinformation reporting process that will let some users in the U.S., Australia and South Korea flag content that falls into the "politics", "health" or "something else" category for posts that aren’t connected to either of the two other topics.


People located in the three countries can flag a tweet by clicking the three dots seen in the upper right corner of a post and then selecting the "report tweet" option. After doing so, they will be prompted to flag a misleading tweet and a menu showing the three categories stated above will be shown to users.


Users who report a tweet about politics can specify if the content in question spreads misleading data about elections. They can also indicate whether a health-related post contains falsehoods about COVID-19.


Credit: Jaap Arriens, NurPhoto via Getty Images


Along with the limited rollout of the experimental user reporting system, Twitter is using human and automated moderation to identify and remove potentially harmful misinformation from the platform. The company said that not all users will be getting updates on their reports, but their input could help strengthen the site’s misinformation policies.


"We're assessing if this is an effective approach so we’re starting small. We may not take action on and cannot respond to each report in the experiment, but your input will help us identify trends so that we can improve the speed and scale of our broader misinformation work," Twitter tweeted.


People had different reactions to Twitter’s plans. Free speech lawyer Casey Mattox believes that it would be better if users correct misinformation by replying to, quote tweeting or subtweeting a misleading post.


Another individual criticised Twitter, expressing worry that the tech company will carry out biased censorship. Other concerns about the feature have surfaced, including possible abuse by malicious users.

"How will you prevent bad actors (individuals, groups, and/or states) from misusing and abusing this feature? Who is in charge of determining truth?" a user tweeted.


Credit; Getty Images


However, there were some positive responses from people who asked for the reporting process to be made available in their country. In response, Twitter said that it aims to pilot the feature in geographically diverse places before scaling globally to other territories.

 

Written by Sophia Lopez

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