The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the whole world. People have no choice but to stay inside their homes to avoid getting infected. For this reason, they rely on the internet, specifically on social media, to get updates about the situation of the pandemic.
Since social media are the primary source of information of people, they must get, truthful, relevant, and up to date news. But while many sources post truthful information, some circulate false and misleading information. This is why Twitter continues to update its guidelines on posting content that is related to COVID-19.
Twitter Doesn’t Want It’s Followers Misled
In addition, the social media giant wants to make sure that purchased Twitter followers and their users are not misled by false information that could potentially bring them harm.
Twitter has millions of users worldwide. For this reason, the social media giant wants to ensure that these users are safe from misinformation. According to Twitter itself, its goal is to make it easy for users to find relevant and credible information within the platform.
For this reason, the company has introduced new warning messages and labels. This update aims to provide added context and information on tweets that contain misleading or disputed information about COVID-19.
Twitter’s New Guidance Policy
It can be recalled that the social media giant broadened its policy guidance in March. This is to address those tweets that do not abide by the platform’s advice on COVID-19 from authoritative sources of local and global public health information.
Furthermore, Twitter may use these warning messages and labels to provide users with additional clarifications and explanations for them not to be misinformed by false information that circulates within the platform. It will also help people identify which tweets associated with the risk of harm are less severe but may still be confusing and misleading. This will help people look for facts, as well as make informed decisions about what they see on the platform.
The New Labels and Warnings of Twitter
Seeing additional information and context from trusted sources can bring significant clarity during active conversations related to disputed issues. Earlier this year, the social media giant introduced a new label intended for Tweets that contain manipulated and synthetic media. The same tags will appear on content that has potentially harmful ad misleading information related to COVID-19. The labels will also apply to tweets that are sent even before the update was done.
Also, the said labels will link to either a page curated by Twitter or an external trusted source that contains additional information about the claims made within a particular tweet.
Warnings may also be applied to a tweet depending on its propensity for harm, as well as the type of misleading information. The said warnings will inform people that that tweet conflicts with the guidance of the public health experts.
Twitter Sets Three Categories of Tweets that will Have Warning Labels
Moreover, false and misleading tweets can take many different forms. For this reason, the social media giant will take action based on three categories.
The first category is misleading information. These are assertions or statements that are confirmed as misleading or false by experts on that subject matter like public health authorities.
The second category identified by Twitter is disputed claims. These are statements wherein the accuracy, integrity, or credibility of the claim is unknown or questioned.
Lastly, unverified claims are the last category. This category includes information that is not yet confirmed at the time that it is shared.
How Twitter will Identify the Tweets that will Have Warning Labels
The teams on Twitter are using and continuously improving their internal systems. The aim is to monitor tweets related to COVID-19 proactively. Moreover, the social media giant’s methods will help to make sure that the company is not amplifying tweets with these labels or warnings. They will also detect the high-visibility content in the quickest possible way.
Also, Twitter said that it would continue to rely on trusted partners to help them identify tweets that will possibly result in offline harm. Considering the situation that the world is facing today, Twitter said that it would prioritize review and labeling of content that may result in increased exposure or transmission.
Twitter Followers Learn New Labels
Furthermore, the social media giant noted that it would learn as it uses the new warning labels and messages. For this reason, the company is open to adjusting as it explores labeling different types of misleading tweets.
The process of using warning messages and labels is ongoing. Twitter will work to make sure that those warning messages and other tags will show up across Twitter.
The social media giant has also emphasized that serving Twitter users with public conversations is its overarching mission. This is why it will keep working to create tools, as well as offer context. This move will allow people to find authentic and credible information within the plat form.
There is no denying that Twitter wants to protect its users against potentially harmful information. Earlier this year, it has also introduced guidelines on inappropriate content. It also updated guidelines that will help people stay safe and informed now that the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near its end.
Now, there is a COVID-19 tab that health experts, as well as stories of how people cope up and help each other during these challenging times, will also be found in the said tab.
Besides, Twitter has also globally expanded its dedicated search prompt feature. The company did this to ensure that whenever users search for information about the pandemic, they will get truthful, credible, and authoritative content at the top of the search results. Twitter also ensures that even the commonly misspelled keywords will also generate relevant search results.