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Twitter is Using New Labels to Fight COVID-19 Misinformation

Image sourced from Mission Statement Academy

In an attempt to make finding credible news a little easier, Twitter has announced that it is introducing new labels for tweets that contain COVID-19-related misinformation.

The social media goliath started testing labels in February after it became known that a number of public figures were tweeting misleading and manipulated media – these untrue tweets were highlighted with an orange label that includes Twitter’s policy guidelines as well as accurate information from fact-checkers and journalists.

And now it seems that Twitter wants to take these labels one step further – “earlier this year, we introduced a new label for Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media. Similar labels will now appear on Tweets containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19,” says the company in an official blog post.

The labels will (1) indicate that the content of a specific post is misleading or contains an unverified claim and (2) link to a Twitter-curated page or trusted external source that can provide accurate information.

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Twitter says that this will also apply to Tweets sent before 12 May 2020.

Here’s how Twitter aims to grade Tweets

While false or misleading content can take many different forms, Twitter says that it will take action based on three broad categories:

  • “Misleading information — statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.”
  • “Disputed claims — statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.”
  • “Unverified claims — information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.”

Twitter, a safer platform for conversation

Twitter says that “moving forward, we may use these labels and warning messages to provide additional explanations or clarifications in situations where the risks of harm associated with a Tweet are less severe but where people may still be confused or misled by the content.”

“Serving the public conversation remains our overarching mission, and we’ll keep working to build tools and offer context so that people can find credible and authentic information on Twitter.”

Edited by Jenna Delport

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