May 12, 2020 - Technology

Twitter to flag borderline coronavirus tweets

Ina Fried, author of Login

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.

Go deeper

21 hours ago - Technology

Twitter suspends fake antifa account tied to white nationalists

Twitter said Monday that it has suspended an account named "ANTIFA_US" which it says was tied to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Over the weekend, the account had called for violence and its posts had widely circulated online.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of social media being used to exploit and sharpen the very real divisions in American society. It's also the latest example of Twitter more aggressively rooting out false information on its platform.

20 hours ago - Technology

Civil rights leaders blast Facebook after meeting with Zuckerberg

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees used as part of their virtual walkout on Monday.

A trio of civil rights leaders issued a blistering statement Monday following a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives to discuss the social network's decision to leave up comments from President Trump they say amount to calls for violence and voter suppression.

Why it matters: While Twitter has flagged two of the president's Tweets, one for being potentially misleading about mail-in ballot procedures and another for glorifying violence, Facebook has left those and other posts up, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he doesn't want to be the "arbiter of truth."

Exclusive: Most favor Twitter flagging Trump tweet

A narrow majority of Americans believe Twitter was right to flag one of President Trump's tweets as violating its rules on violence, according to a National Research Group survey being released later Monday.

Yes, but: As with nearly everything right now, there's a sharp partisan and ideological divide.