Twitter announced on Monday that it will add labels and warning messages on tweets that contain misleading or disputed information about the novel coronavirus.
The company said in a blog post that a label will help in providing the users "additional context and information" on such tweets. It will also indicate that information shared in the tweet disagrees with the advisory from public health agencies regarding coronavirus pandemic.
Misleading tweets will be obscured from the timeline, unless a user clicks the "View" button to uncover the tweet.
According to Twitter, its new system will block tweets containing:
- Misleading information: Assertions that have been confirmed to be misleading or false by public health authorities or other experts.
- Disputed claims: Statements in which the credibility or accuracy of the claim is unknown.
- Unverified claims: information that could be true or false but it was unconfirmed at the time when it was shared.
Labels added to tweets judged to be misleading will link to a curated page or external website containing authentic information on the claims made within the tweet.
The company said it is taking various measures to ensure that coronavirus-related content on the platform is monitored quickly, and any misinformation is properly dealt with, without giving it a chance to amplify on the platform.
The company says it will prioritise labelling tweets that could lead to quick spread of coronavirus.
Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are currently under pressure to fight misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak on their platforms.
In March, Twitter widened its policy guidance to address content that conflicts with the coronavirus guidance from global and local public health agencies.
Last month, Facebook introduced a new policy to show notifications to users who interacted with posts containing misleading information about Covid-19. Facebook users who like, react, share or comment on such disingenuous posts before they are removed by the moderators receive an alert in their news feed.
Such users are also directed to a "myth busters" page on the website of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The move from Facebook coincided with the publishing of a new report by activist group Avaaz in April, which drew attention to the social network's shortcomings in countering the misinformation about virus.
Responding to those claims, Facebook said that it put over 40 million warning labels in March over coronavirus-related posts, articles or videos that were found to be misleading or false by fact-checking organisations.
The company also revealed that putting such warming labels helped to stop 95 per cent of users from clicking on those misleading posts.
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