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No more fake news: Twitter will label tweets that contain harmful, misleading content on coronavirus

The tech company is undertaking these measures to ensure that people have access to correct information.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 12, 2020, 12.24 PM IST
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AP
​Twitter  will also continue to rely on partners to identify content that is likely to result in offline harm. ​
Twitter will continue to rely on partners to identify content that is likely to result in offline harm.
Microblogging site Twitter said it is introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19.

Twitter said in March, it broadened its policy guidance to address content that goes directly against guidance on COVID-19 from authoritative sources of global and local public health information. Moving forward, it 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.

"This will make it easier to find facts and make informed decisions about what people see on Twitter", authors Yoel Roth and Nick Pickles wrote in a Twitter blog post.

The authors said earlier this year, Twitter 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. This will also apply to Tweets sent before this announcement.

Reuters
An example image from Twitter shows how the company will add warnings to some tweets with misleading information related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
An example image from Twitter shows how the company will add warnings to some tweets with misleading information related to the coronavirus disease.

Depending on the propensity for harm and type of misleading information, warnings may also be applied to a tweet. These warnings will inform people that the information in the tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it.

While false or misleading content can take many different forms, the authors said Twitter 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 genuinely contested or unknown and unverified claims — information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.

The authors said embedded tweets and tweets viewed by people not logged into Twitter may still appear without a label.

"Our teams are using and improving on internal systems to proactively monitor content related to COVID-19. These systems help ensure we’re not amplifying Tweets with these warnings or labels and detecting the high-visibility content quickly,"the authors stated.

"Additionally, we’ll continue to rely on trusted partners to identify content that is likely to result in offline harm. Given the dynamic situation, we will prioritize review and labeling of content that could lead to increased exposure or transmission," they added.


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