Twitter’s now giving users in the U.S., Australia, and South Korea the option to report tweets that “seem misleading.”
Users who select the “misleading” option when reporting will be asked whether the tweet contains misleading information about politics, health, or “something else.”
Choosing politics will prompt Twitter to ask the user whether the tweet contains false information about elections, and choosing health will prompt a similar question about COVID-19.
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“We’re assessing if this is an effective approach so we’re starting small,” Twitter tweeted. “We may not take action on and cannot respond to each report in the experiment, but your input will help us identify trends so that we can improve the speed and scale of our broader misinformation work.”
We’re assessing if this is an effective approach so we’re starting small. We may not take action on and cannot respond to each report in the experiment, but your input will help us identify trends so that we can improve the speed and scale of our broader misinformation work.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) August 17, 2021
This is not the first time Twitter has allowed reporting of misinformation: during past elections (particularly the 2020 presidential election), it enabled temporary reporting features and asked users to let it know about accounts spreading lies about things like voter registration and polling dates/locations.
But this feature, though still firmly in the testing phase, seems to be the first time Twitter is implementing a permanent tool for users to report potentially harmful misinformation.
Twitter did not give details about what kind of action it might take on reported tweets. It also did not say what kind of misinformation is covered by the “something else” option.
During past users-can-report-tweets-for-misinformation blitzes, Twitter removed more severely violative tweets (in the case of the 2020 election, tweets that encouraged direct interference with the election process) and put click-through warning labels on less severe ones (tweets that claimed a certain candidate had won before the winner was officially declared).
Per TechCrunch, users who report tweets for misinformation during this test will not receive the usual updates about Twitter receiving their reports and taking action on the tweet, if merited.