Tweets with seemingly misleading information will start having notifications attached to it, warning users they may be reading deceptive or inaccurate material.
The general elections in the US are over but social media platforms are still in the thick of the war against widespread and blatant misinformation spreading all over their networks. As a result, social media giants like Twitter have started implementing safeguards against such practices. Recently, it revealed that it will attach notifications to tweets that appear misleading to warn users that the information they are reading, retweeting, or liking, may be false.
Twitter will now warn users when they try to like a misleading tweet https://t.co/Mr3NGGSXn0 by @filipeesposito pic.twitter.com/6U4KrXfYOE — 9to5Mac.com (@9to5mac) November 24, 2020
While the purpose of most social media platforms is to provide people with a virtual place to freely express themselves, it has also become a source of fake news that some elements deliberately spread for their own gains. According to some social media platforms, there is no other sector that benefited more from these practices than several who move about within the political arena. Facebook and Twitter were among these elements' favorite social platforms, prompting social network officials to institute strict policies to curb these practices. In the case of Twitter, it has started to attach notifications to tweets, warning users the information they are liking or retweeting appears to be misleading and likely to contain deceptive materials. Social media platforms have gone a long way from being merely a place where individuals can exchange information to an entity with a seemingly unlimited source of raw data people could use for their personal or business goals. Businesses use social media networks to make announcements, promote products and services, as well as engage possible customers. Unfortunately, political groups have found a way to weaponize the medium, with some of them using it to spread false information. This prompted social network platforms like Twitter to attach notifications to suspicious tweets, warning users that the information they contain is likely to be deceptive or false.
Giving context on why a labeled Tweet is misleading under our election, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media rules is vital. These prompts helped decrease Quote Tweets of misleading information by 29% so we're expanding them to show when you tap to like a labeled Tweet. pic.twitter.com/WTK164nMfZ — Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 23, 2020
Aside from some groups and individuals promoting various political agendas to further their goals, some use these platforms to spread misinformation either for gain or a form of a prank. Whatever the goals of these persons are, these posts or tweets sometimes have disastrous consequences. This is one of the many reasons why Twitter decided to attach warning notifications to tweets that appear misleading in an attempt to forewarn its users before they start liking or sharing the post with others.
According to Twitter, the initial test of their warning notifications helped bring down the volume of misleading tweets by 29%. This is why they are expanding the coverage to include not only those tweets containing political agendas but also those coming from private individuals who just wanted to spread misinformation online. Although the move may not have the same impact as preventing users from retweeting potentially misleading information, Twitter believes that it will reduce the volume of such tweets spreading online.