Coronavirus: Twitter will label Covid-19 fake news

Example of tweets with new label

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Caption of the image

Some tweets will have labels that redirect users to facts about Covid-19

Twitter has begun posting tweet warning messages containing misleading information about Covid-19.

And he confirmed that U.S. President Donald Trump, who had previously suggested injecting disinfectants to help cure coronavirus, would be subject to the new rules.

But one expert fears that moderators will be overwhelmed and ask him how much attention people would get from the warnings.

Some may even see tweet warnings as “a sign of pride,” he suggested.

In a blogTwitter said it wanted to “limit the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content” around the coronavirus.

In a tweet In response to questions about the changes, Twitter site integrity officer Yoel Roth said the policy “applies to anyone who shares misleading information that meets our policy requirements, including world leaders.”

A link to a page edited by Twitter or an external trusted source containing additional information will be added to the offensive tweets.

And in some cases, readers will be warned of tweet conflicts with expert opinion.

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Caption of the image

Some tweets will carry stronger alerts

Twitter is targeting requests:

  • confirmed as false or misleading by experts such as public health authorities
  • in which accuracy, truthfulness or credibility are contested or unknown

He said the new system will also apply to tweets sent earlier this week.

“Our teams are using and improving internal systems to proactively monitor Covid-19 related content,” he added.

But Dr Bernie Hogan of the Oxford Internet Institute said: “Cranks and trolls … often deliberately organize disinformation campaigns to simply overwhelm moderators.

“The problem for me is that Trump and his fellows have done an excellent job of labeling the disagreement as fake news which I believe his supporters will likely eliminate these warnings.

“It could also be seen as a sign of pride that one’s opinions are considered false by” the institution “.”


By Shayan Sardarizadeh

BBC Monitoring Disinformation Specialist

Just like other social networks, Twitter has struggled to control the flow of disinformation on its platform since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

After tightening its policies against malicious content in March, the company claims to have removed 1,100 misleading tweets and “challenged” over 1.5 million accounts by manipulating the conversation on Covid-19.

The new labeling system looks very similar to Facebook’s reporting program for misleading content, although Twitter will not use independent fact-checking information to label content.

The challenge for technology giants is to find a balance between removing truly harmful disinformation and protecting their users’ right to free speech.

This is not an easy balancing act.

The platforms address questions from politicians and members of the public if they do not take action against harmful disinformation and will also be subject to allegations of censorship if their actions are considered too serious.

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