Twitter likely to delay users’ ability to like tweets containing misinformation
Twitter has rolled out several new features to make it difficult for users to retweet and quote tweets containing misleading information. Now the social media is working at expanding the use of the misinformation labels on misleading tweets. The company has developed a new feature, which is not yet live, that would pop up a message reading – misleading information label when a user tries to like a tweet that has been labeled as misinformation.
The new feature was first discovered by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who previews and uncovers new features while they’re still being tested. A screenshot of the new feature posted by Wong shows that the addition doesn’t prevent a user from continuing to “Like” the tweet, however — it just slows the user down.
Twitter said that the feature spotted by Wong is in development. This new feature is a part of other measures Twitter has been taking to slow the spread of misinformation on its platform, including a recent change to how retweets work. On October 20, 2020, Twitter began to prompt anyone who wants to retweet something to share a quote tweet instead.
A similar warning appears presently as users attempted to retweet posts labeled as containing misinformation.
This new change is to help users pause and think about what they’re amplifying, and this lead to a change that pushed users to click through and actually read the content they’re sharing.
Twitter also rolled out a series of new policies ahead of Election Day in the US, over the handling of misleading tweets. Other than just labeling misinformation, Twitter applied aggressive warnings and restrictions on tweets from US political figures, candidates, and campaign accounts, as well as other US-based accounts that met certain thresholds in terms of followers, or tweet engagements.
Warnings were placed over tweets claiming premature victory and had been designed largely in response to Trump’s broad hints that he would not easily concede.
Despite the fact that the election may have highlighted the problem with misinformation to a greater degree than usual, it is a significant problem to be addressed by social media platforms.
Twitter remarked that it tries to de-amplify misinformation today by not allowing the labeled, misleading tweets to appear in Search or injected into users’ Timelines if they don’t follow the account. Though the tweets can still be replied to, liked, and retweeted.
A Twitter spokesperson said, “Our goal is to give people the context and tools necessary to find credible information on our service — no matter the topic or where they are seeing the Tweet. This is an iterative process, and we’re continuing to explore features and policies to help people on Twitter make their own informed decisions.”