Twitter to Tackle Conflict Misinformation With Warning Label Twitter. (Dreamstime)
By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 19 May 2022 01:42 PM
Twitter will add a warning notice to tweets with misinformation during armed conflict, public health emergencies, and large-scale natural disasters, the company announced Thursday.
The policy is being implemented even as billionaire Elon Musk, who is in the process of acquiring the social media giant, has said he intends on doing away with Twitter's content moderation policies.
"During moments of crisis, establishing whether something is true or false can be exceptionally challenging," Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of safety and site integrity, said in a blog post.
"To determine whether claims are misleading, we require verification from multiple credible, publicly available sources, including evidence from conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, open-source investigators, journalists, and more.
"Conversation moves quickly during periods of crisis, and content from accounts with wide reach are most likely to rack up views and engagement. To reduce potential harm, as soon as we have evidence that a claim may be misleading, we won't amplify or recommend content that is covered by this policy across Twitter – including in the Home timeline, Search, and Explore," he added.
"In addition, we will prioritize adding warning notices to highly visible Tweets and Tweets from high profile accounts, such as state-affiliated media accounts, verified, official government accounts."
Excluded from the policy is "strong commentary, efforts to debunk or fact check, and personal anecdotes or first-person accounts," said Roth.
The change comes after years of criticism from Republican leaders, including former President Donald Trump, who accused Twitter of censorship.
"Content moderation is more than just leaving up or taking down content, and we've expanded the range of actions we may take to ensure they're proportionate to the severity of the potential harm," Roth said. "We've found that not amplifying or recommending certain content, adding context through labels and, in severe cases, disabling engagement with the tweets, are effective ways to mitigate harm, while still preserving speech and records of critical global events."