Twitter expands feature allowing users to flag misinformation
Twitter announced on Monday it is expanding a feature that allows users to flag any misleading information shared on its platform.
The feature was launched in the United States, South Korea and Australia in August 2021 and will now be tested in Brazil, Spain and the Philippines, according to a tweet from Twitter Safety.
Since the August launch, Twitter said it received about 3 million reports from users calling out tweets that violated the companies policies on misinformation.
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In the experimental phase, Twitter planned to test the new feature in a small, geographically diverse set of regions before expanding it further.
The tech company said it is assessing if the new feature is an effective approach at identifying and removing misinformation on its platform. Twitter said it may not take action and respond to every report during the feature’s beta phase, but user input will help the company identify trends.
With the new feature, Twitter hopes to improve the speed and scale its efforts to remove misinformation from its platform.
Amid the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election, social media giants such as Meta, formerly known as Facebook, and Twitter have launched several tools to help combat the onslaught of misleading information.
In July 2021, Twitter launched another separate feature that would place warning labels on false and misleading tweets, redesigned to make them more effective and less confusing.
The labels are an update from those Twitter used for election misinformation before and after the 2020 presidential election. Those labels drew criticism for not doing enough to keep people from spreading obvious falsehoods.
The redesign launched in November 2021 is an attempt to make them more useful and easier to notice, among other things.
Experts say such labels, used by Meta as well, can be helpful to users. But they can also allow social media platforms to sidestep the more difficult work of content moderation — that is, deciding whether or not to remove posts, photos and videos that spread conspiracies and falsehoods.
The Associated Press and Skyler Rivera contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.