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In a blog post on Friday, Twitter unveiled new efforts to slow the misinformation dissemination regarding the upcoming U.S. November election. The company changed some of its basic features due to false information and calls for violence sweeping through this social media platform.
The changes in Twitter’s features would temporarily alter the app’s vibe’s vibe as the company wanted to “encourage more thoughtful consideration before tweets amplified.” Starting on October 20 until election day (at least), there will be new labels to specific tweets and timeout before users can hit the retweet button.
Twitter also stated that warnings would pop out when a user tries to retweet a “misleading information label” and “false-flagged” tweets. The default retweet will become a quote tweet composer as a default, but users can still retweet them if they don’t write anything on the post. The app would also add a label regarding the election winners until it came from authoritative sources.
The app would also temporarily prevent the “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people that users do not follow from showing up in their feeds, and the “For You” trending tab will only include trends with additional context. With these measures, Twitter is likely to draw the ire of its most famous user, President Trump, making it one of the boldest changes that the company has made.
The Trump campaign reacted negatively on Friday afternoon about Twitter’s changes, labeling the app’s company “extremely dangerous for our democracy.”
“After months of Big Tech censorship against President Trump, the unelected liberal coastal elites of Silicon Valley are once again attempting to influence this election in favor of their preferred ticket by silencing the President and his supporters.”Deputy National Press Secretary for the Trump campaign Samantha Zager
As most of the fake news in the Twitter platforms came from domestic sources and even in elected officials, companies are walking on a thin line between stopping false statements or they might go viral while countering arguments. In the past weeks, the app’s company already warned and added labels to lies posted by elected officials, flagging some of Trump’s tweets, like manipulative photos and videos to deceive viewers.
The company has also prohibited political advertising for nearly a year already. As Twitter executives Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour recently stated, their app plays a critical role in protecting election discussions with the utmost integrity.
“We encourage candidates, campaigns, news outlets, and voters to use Twitter respectfully and to recognize our collective responsibility to the electorate to guarantee a safe, fair, and legitimate democratic process this November.”Vijaya Gadde and Kayvon Beykpour