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MPs May be Flagged by Twitter if They Post Lies and Misinformation

David Paul

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Twitter

The social media site is exploring different ways to address the spread of misleading information on its platform.

Twitter is exploring options to try and stem the spread of lies and misinformation through tweets on its platform after the December 2019 election was marred with complaints of political parties not being truthful on social media.

The site is suggesting having red and orange badges added underneath politicians’ tweets and flagging them as “harmfully misleading” if it is believed that they contain untrue statements.

NBC News viewed a leaked demo appearing to show a demonstration of how the new system would work, with a large orange or red box labelled ‘Harmfully Misleading’, with corrections to the tweet being posted by journalists and experts being placed directly underneath. Twitter said that the leak showed just one possible solution in a new approach to combat misinformation.

The mock-up showed a plan to develop a community reports feature, likening Twitter to Wikipedia. Users would earn points and badges for rating “harmfully misleading” content.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for Tweets on Twitter.

“This is a design mock-up for one option that would involve community feedback. Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it.”

There is currently no confirmed date for the release of the new features.

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The new explored options come on the back of Twitter unveiling new rules in January to tackle deep fake videos ahead of the 2020 US election, not allowing users to “deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm”. The company announced a roll-out of the new rules for March 5th, 2020.

The spread of misinformation is a problem for social media platforms, and Twitter has put other tools into place to try and deal with the problem.

A new feature was announced in May 2019 that redirect users from anti-vaccination tweets to vaccine resources site vaccines.org and launching a search prompt that points users to authoritative sources for information around the 2020 Census.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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