Twitter announces new 'crisis' misinformation policy
The policy arrives as ample criticism of the company's handling of so-called 'misinformation' continues to roll in
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Twitter on Thursday announced the implementation of a new approach to handling misinformation during crisis situations.
The social media platform – which like Facebook and others has struggled to intercept the proliferation of misinformation – says the method will more aggressively target false allegations.
As soon as it receives evidence that a claim about a crisis may be misleading, Twitter will stop amplifying or promoting content that includes said claim, the company says.
Tweets that violate the new emergency policy will have a warning placed on them but will not immediately be removed.
The war in Ukraine is the first crisis to which the new policy will be applied.
"In times of crisis, misleading information can undermine public trust and cause further harm to already vulnerable communities," Yoel Roth, the company's head of safety and integrity, wrote in a blog post. "Alongside our existing work to make reliable information more accessible during crisis events, this new approach will help to slow the spread by us of the most visible, misleading content, particularly that which could lead to severe harms."
Still, social media platforms and others that allow third-party content on their sites will continue to face the challenge of deciding what is mis- or disinformation and whether those decision cross into silencing dissenting content that appears contrary to that of the mainstream.
The new Twitter policy defines crises as situations in which here is a "widespread threat to life, physical safety, health, or basic subsistence."
"To determine whether claims are misleading, we require verification from multiple credible, publicly available sources, including evidence from conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, open-source investigators, journalists, and more," Roth also wrote.
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