Twitter is attempting to fight against misleading tweets that spread false information among the netizens by introducing a manual reporting option on its platform. The option will empower the users to mark the tweets that seem deceptive or could potentially instigate mass hysteria.
Twitter has a few select users from the US, South Korea, and Australia to experiment with pulling off the same globally ultimately. The microblogging app will provide the users in these countries with an additional option, ‘It’s misleading’, allowing them to flag misleading assertions.
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.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) August 17, 2021
When users select the ‘It’s misleading’ option, they will be able to categorize the tweet under ‘Politics,’ ‘Health,’ or ‘Something else,’ offering them more measures to identify disinformation on the site, which could become a great catalyst to the report false and contradictory information. However, according to the company, Twitter won’t take action against every reported tweet since it is looking for trends to figure out the kinds of tweets that elicit such replies and how they might deal with them in the long run. Twitter will then devise new strategies for restricting its visibility, giving the further background, and establishing new rules.
For example, suppose a large number of people report the same tweet as being “political” under the “why it’s misleading” option. In that case, Twitter will become more aware of what users dislike to see and want the social media site to address in order to fix the tweeting process. This does require mass reporting on false claims or shitposting.
If you recall, this looks close to Twitter’s community-driven ‘Birdwatch’ strategy to combating false information. Birdwatch will also assist Twitter in identifying unclear tweets, allowing for follow-up action depending on audience behaviour.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) January 25, 2021
Since Twitter is kicking this off at a low level, it may not create a significant impact. Still, it is worth an experiment to remove or minimize the visibility of misinformation and improve the tweeting process. As said, ‘Slow and steady wins the race’, we hope Twitter wins the war against misleading information.