Twitter – for that matter, many social media platforms – is forever facing the charge that it is isn’t doing much to stem the flow of misinformation on its network.
Twitter’s previous attempts to come down on fake news through features like Birdwatch are still works in progress. Now in continuation of that, Twitter is allowing small groups in the US, Australia and South Korea to report tweets on the social media platform that contain misinformation.
Misinfo can be flagged under specific classifications
We’re testing a feature for you to report Tweets that seem misleading – as you see them. Starting today, some people in the US, South Korea, and Australia will find the option to flag a Tweet as “It’s misleading” after clicking on Report Tweet.August 17, 2021
A clickable option will now appear for the select users when they seek to report a problematic tweet. It can be accessed on the three grey dots on the right side of a tweet. After clicking on that, people who are part of the test group will see an option to report the tweet as misleading. Twitter didn’t say how many users will have access to this feature.
But the limited test may not lead to any direct action on the tweets flagged by users.
Twitter said it is assessing whether this is an “effective approach”.
“We may not take action on and cannot respond to each report in the experiment, but your input will help us identify trends so that we can improve the speed and scale of our broader misinformation work,” Twitter said in a tweet.
Interestingly, Twitter is giving option as to under which classification that the chosen tweet is misleading. Users can flag the contentious tweet under ‘Politics’, ‘Health’ or ‘Something else’.
For the record, Facebook also lets users report false information pertaining to health, politics or social issues.
Twitter is apparently concerned about the fact that this ‘flagging for misinfo’ feature can be misused by vested interests wanting to curtail opinion contrary to theirs. Hence, Twitter is testing out its efficacy, and holding back its response to tweets flagged thus.
Twitter has also put other tools into place in an attempt to help users discern what information on its platform is inaccurate.