Twitter Moves To Head Off Midterm Election Misinformation
Twitter announced its plans to counter misinformation during the US midterm elections. People are already complaining.
Company claims it has activated its Civic Integrity Policy. The policy includes misinformation on topics such how to vote, information intended to discourage or intimidate voters from voting, as well as misleading claims that will undermine the public’s confidence in an election.
These posts might be labeled and not recommended. It appears that this tactic has been successful in the past. A test of labels was conducted last year and results showed replies to misinformation fell by 13%, while likes decreased by 10%, and retweets declined by 15%.
Another measure is the creation of event hubs for each state that provide real-time information about elections from officials in those states, as well as local news sources and journalists. Twitter will shortly add another, national focused Event page that is open to all Americans.
New is the Explore tab, which will provide news sources in English and Spanish as well localized information and links to resources.
The May introduction of candidate account labels will be continued. Twitter says that there is additional help available for candidates for office, government officials and journalists in order to safeguard their accounts.
Twitter has reintroduced a feature that was first introduced in 2020, which is more controversial.
“We’re also bringing back prebunks — in English, Spanish, and all other languages supported on Twitter — to get ahead of misleading narratives on Twitter, and to proactively address topics that may be the subject of misinformation,” the company explains in a blog post.
“Over the coming months, we’ll place prompts directly on people’s timelines in the US and in Search when people type related terms, phrases, or hashtags.”
But, there is already some criticism. The rival social media platform Gettr, which was founded by Jason Miller (former Trump advisor) and is beloved by the US right, has issued a statement condemning the decision.
Miller states that “these disturbing new policies deliver an enormous blow to democracy freedoms and speech rights, not only in America, but throughout the world.”
“We must not become numb to this kind of ideologically-motivated censorship which is a naked attempt from Twitter’s liberal executives to control the outcome of elections and the democratic process.”
Twitter, along with other social media platforms, is claiming election interference. Some even threaten to file class action lawsuits. Twitter’s attempt to block misinformation is likely to lead to more conspiracy theories.