Twitter is rolling out a limited test of a new reporting system, in an effort to clamp down on misleading information on the platform.
Twitter said the new reporting system will be available for some people in the US, South Korea, and Australia, who will find the option to flag a Tweet as “It’s misleading” after clicking on Report Tweet.
In January this year, Twitter piloted a program called Birdwatch, only available to Twitter users who register for the scheme in the United States. It is essentially the Twitter equivalent of Wikipedia editors.
Birdwatch allows users to flag tweets that they believe are misleading, and also write notes to provide context about the offending item.
Twitter has been taken action against individuals peddling hate and misleading information in the past couple of years, including the permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump from the platform.
Twitter more recently suspended the account of Trump supporter and Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, after she tweeted that Covid-19 vaccines were failing.
This was her second suspension in the space of a month.
President Joe Biden meanwhile has been very clear about the need for social networking giants to clamp down on misinformation on their platforms, which is causing real problems during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a significant percentage of Americas refusing to get the Coronavirus vaccine, despite surging infections and deaths from the Delta variant.
Indeed, President Biden said last month that Facebook was ‘killing people’ because of misleading Coronavirus information on the platform.
He later backtracked when he said that he had meant to accuse a dozen Facebook users, but not the social media platform itself, of spreading deadly lies about Covid vaccines.
Into this febrile atmosphere comes Twitter, after it announced on Tuesday the introduction of an easy reporting system for misleading content.
We’re testing a feature for you to report Tweets that seem misleading – as you see them,” Twitter Support tweeted. “Starting today, some people in the US, South Korea, and Australia will find the option to flag a Tweet as ‘It’s misleading’ after clicking on Report Tweet.”
“We’re assessing if this is an effective approach so we’re starting small,” it added. “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.”
It also began for the first time, applying fact checking labels to tweets by former US President Trump (before his ban), much to his outrage.
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