Twitter has expanded its pilot reporting system, as part of its ongoing effort to clamp down on misleading information on the platform.

It was back in August 2021 when Twitter rolled out a limited test of a new reporting system for some people in the US, South Korea, and Australia.

Selected users in those countries were presented with the option to flag a Tweet as “It’s misleading” after clicking on ‘Report Tweet’.

Reporting feature

The platform said that since last August, it has received around 3 million reports from users who have used it to flag tweets which they believe are in violation of its policies.

But now Twitter Safety tweeted that this pilot reporting option has been expanded to a number of other countries as well.

“Today we’re expanding this test feature to folks tweeting from Brazil, Spain, or the Philippines,” it tweeted. “Till now we’ve received around 3M reports from you all, calling out Tweets that violate our policies & helping us understand new misinformation trends.”

But some users point out that maybe Twitter should get its existing systems working correctly before adding new features.

“Any chance you could update your algorithms so that when we report blatantly antisemitic tweets or images your system doesn’t comes back and says nope its fine,” asked a user called Adam.

“Maybe get the basics right before adding new stuff.”

Misleading content

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 last year also suspended the account of Trump supporter and Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, after she tweeted that Covid-19 vaccines were failing. That had her second suspension in the space of a month.

And she failed to heed Twitter’s repeated warnings.

Earlier this month Twitter permanently suspended the personal account (@mtgreenee) of Marjorie Taylor Greene, for persistent Covid misinformation violations.

Greene was a big Twitter user, and is also a believer of QAnon and other conspiracy theories, and has previously called for the execution of Democratic officials.

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.

Indeed, President Biden said last summer 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.

Twitter action

Twitter to be fair to it has taken action in the past few years.

In January 2021, Twitter piloted a separate 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.

Twitter also in March 2021 launched its “strike” system, which uses artificial intelligence to identify misleading coronavirus posts that could cause harm.

And the platform has been clamping down on Covid misinformation before that.

In November 2020 for example, Twitter permanently suspended the account of the conspiracy theorist David Icke for misleading Coronavirus posts.

Under Twitter’s strike rules, two or three strikes earn a 12-hour account lock; four strikes prompt a week-long suspension (as happened in August 2021 to Greene); and five strikes or more can get an account permanently removed (as happened to Greene in January 2022).

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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