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Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter said Friday it would be making a slew of significant new product and enforcement changes to help clamp down on misinformation leading up to the election.

Why it matters: It's the most aggressive set of changes that Twitter has rolled out to date to curb election-related misinformation on its platform.

Details: Twitter said that beginning next week, it would officially take action on tweets that claim an election win before it's authoritatively called.

  • 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 calls.
  • Tweets that include premature claims will be labeled and will direct users to Twitter's official U.S. election page, the tech giant said.
  • Tweets meant to incite interference with the election process or with the implementation of election results — such as through violent action —will be subject to removal.

The tech giant will also be labeling more tweets.

  • Beginning next week, it will prompt users to seek credible information about a topic if they try to retweet a tweet with a misleading information label on it.
  • In addition to those prompts, it will add additional warnings and restrictions on tweets with a misleading information label from U.S. political figures, and U.S.-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or accounts that have significant engagement. Users will have to tap through a warning to see those tweets.
  • Users will only be able to quote tweet those tweets. Likes, retweets and replies will be turned off, and these tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter.

Between the lines: The tech giant is also rolling out three new updates on October 20 to make sure misinformation about results won't spread. These updates are temporary, but do to the unusual nature of the election, Twitter says it doesn't know yet when these changes will be lifted.

  1. Twitter says it will encourage people to add their own commentary to retweets, via a "quote tweet" prior to amplifying content. This has been something that the firm has openly discussed tested for some time.
  2. It will prevent “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people that users don’t follow from showing up in their timeline. Twitter says it won't send notifications for these tweets to ensure that people don't pile onto conversations going viral. They hope this will curb misinformation from spreading.
  3. Twitter says it will only surface trends in the “For You” tab in the United States that includes additional context, meaning it will include a description tweet or article "that represents or summarizes why that term is trending."

The big picture: Twitter has been credited for taken swift and more decisive action on political misinformation this cycle than last. Most notably, the tech giant announced last year that it would ban political advertising, a move that was followed by major political advertising changes by some of its peers.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Technology

Social media companies all starting to look the same

Data: Axios research; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Snapchat on Monday launched Spotlight, a video tab within its app that, like TikTok, distributes videos based more on how popular they are than on who created them. Facebook in August launched its TikTok competitor, called Reels.

Driving the news: Snapchat's news comes days after Twitter said it would be adding "Fleets," which are basically Snapchat stories for people who tweet. (Nearly every social media app has launched some version of Stories in the past few years.)

Court rejects Trump campaign's appeal in Pennsylvania case

Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously rejected the Trump campaign's emergency appeal seeking to file a new lawsuit against Pennsylvania's election results, writing in a blistering ruling that the campaign's "claims have no merit."

Why it matters: It's another devastating blow to President Trump's sinking efforts to overturn the results of the election. Pennsylvania, which President-elect Joe Biden won by more than 80,000 votes, certified its results last week and is expected to award 20 electoral votes to Biden on Dec. 12.

Dave Lawler, author of World
20 mins ago - World

Belarus dictator Lukashenko says he'll leave post after new constitution

Photo: Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty

Longtime Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has said he will step down after a new constitution comes into force, according to Belarusian state media.

Why it matters: Lukashenko has faced three months of protests following a rigged election in August. He has promised to reform the constitution to reduce the near-absolute powers of the president, but has insisted that his strong hand is needed to see that process through.