May 11, 2020 - Technology

Twitter to flag borderline coronavirus tweets

A photo of tweets on a phone

Photo: Twitter

Twitter said Monday it will begin labeling coronavirus-related tweets that contain potentially misleading information but that don't clearly violate company misinformation policies.

Why it matters: The move comes as it and other platforms such as Facebook and YouTube struggle with a flood of misinformation, as highlighted in Monday's Axios Login.

  • Twitter said that it may issue warning labels on tweets that post misleading information or disputed claims, though it will still remove posts with false information and a severe likelihood of causing harm.
  • "These warnings will inform people that the information in the Tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it," Twitter said in a blog post.

Of note: Asked if the policy would apply to President Trump if he posts "harmful misleading information," Twitter said: "These labels will apply to anyone sharing misleading information that meets the requirements of our policy, including world leaders."

  • When it comes to removing posts entirely, Twitter has a policy of allowing some tweets that would otherwise violate the rules to remain up, with a note.

Between the lines: The move is similar to one Twitter has put in place for synthetic and manipulated media, as well as to a rarely used option Twitter has to label posts from elected officials and world leaders that would otherwise be taken down for violating the site's rules.

Meanwhile: Michigan's governor called on Facebook to take stronger action against threats being made against her, some in private groups, ahead of planned armed rally in Lansing.

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