April 25, 2019
Twitter has unveiled a new feature that will let users directly report misinformation and fake news with regard to elections. Among the elections in India on April 25 and Europe on April 29, Twitter now offers the option “It’s misleading about voting” in the “Report Tweet” dropdown menu. On its blog, Twitter states that “voting is a fundamental human right … any attempts to undermine the process of registering to vote or engaging in the electoral process is contrary to our company’s core values.”
Engadget reports that when the user taps on the new option, they will be able to “flag the tweet as problematic, and give more information about the content if you wish.” Twitter stated that the feature will “roll out globally in due course.”
The company’s aim is to prevent those from using its platform for “the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections … [which] includes giving out misleading information about how to vote and requirements for voting, as well as making misleading statements about individuals involved in elections.”
Engadget adds that, although it is a “small change,” it’s important because the new option “gives Twitter a clear set of data about the way its platform is being used during elections … [and] a better understanding of this abuse” will make it, and all social media companies, “better placed to tackle it effectively.”
In its blog post, Twitter states that the new feature is “in addition to our existing proactive approach to tackling malicious automation and other forms of platform manipulation on the service.” Content considered as violation through manipulating or interfering in elections includes (“but is not limited to”) “misleading information about how to vote or register to vote … misleading information about requirements for voting, including identification requirements; and misleading statements or information about the official, announced date or time of an election.”
Twitter has also “recently enhanced our appeals process in the event that we make the wrong call.” More information is available at the Twitter Help Center.