Twitter announced several new steps related to next month’s U.S. elections, including its plans to label tweets by any political candidates — including Donald Trump and Joe Biden — if they falsely claim they have won before a race is “authoritatively called.”
And among other measures, starting Oct. 20, Twitter will prompt users to use the “quote tweet” function instead of simply retweeting a post — which the company believes will slow down the spread of false info.
The moves by Twitter comes after Facebook similarly announced this week that it will add information labels to posts by a candidate or party if they declare “premature victory” before a race is called by major media outlets.
To determine the results of an election in the U.S., Twitter will require either an announcement from state election officials or a public projection from at least two “authoritative, national news outlets” that make independent election calls. Tweets which include premature claims will be labeled and direct users to its official U.S. election page.
“Under this policy, we will label Tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and will remove Tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with election results or the smooth operation of polling places,” Twitter execs Vijaya Gadde, legal, policy and trust and safety lead, and product lead Kayvon Beykpour wrote in a blog post.
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Starting next week, if Twitter users attempt to retweet posts that violate the social network’s policies against “misleading information about civic integrity, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media,” they will see a prompt pointing them to “credible information about the topic before they are able to amplify it,” Gadde and Beykpour wrote.
For the U.S. elections, tweets that Twitter interprets as attempting to “incite interference with the election process,” such as through violent action, will be removed, the company said. In addition, Twitter will apply additional warnings and restrictions on tweets with misleading information to posts by U.S. political figures (including campaign accounts) as well as U.S.-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers (or those that “obtain significant engagement”).
Among other steps Twitter is taking, starting Oct. 20 through at least the end of election week in the U.S.:
- It will encourage users to “add their own commentary prior to amplifying content” by prompting them to use the “quote tweet” feature (instead of a straight retweet).
- It will block “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people you don’t follow from showing up in your timeline and won’t provide notifications for those tweets — which Twitter says also is aimed at reducing the spread of misinformation.
- It will only surface Trends in the “For You” tab in the U.S. that provide additional context, such as a description tweet or an article that represents or summarizes why the term is trending.