Twitter started showing a warning before users tried to retweet a labeled tweet during the recently concluded US Presidential elections and it looks like the company is quite satisfied with the results. That is probably why it has decided to expand this function to liking a tweet as well, which means that from now on, Twitter will send you a prompt whenever you try to like a tweet that is labeled for being misleading or fake.
Giving context on why a labeled Tweet is misleading under our election, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media rules is vital.
These prompts helped decrease Quote Tweets of misleading information by 29% so we’re expanding them to show when you tap to like a labeled Tweet. pic.twitter.com/WTK164nMfZ
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 23, 2020
In the run-up to the US Presidential election 2020, Twitter started flagging and labeling tweets by American politicians that tried to mislead or spread fake news. A small label at the bottom of the tweet would appear saying “This is disputed”. To make sure this message was clearly sent across the users, Twitter also started flashing warnings to users whenever they tried to retweet the tweets carrying the aforementioned label. A new window would open if users try to share a retweet, where they were required to compose a quote tweet instead of immediately sharing that tweet. However, it is not necessary to write a whole new quote tweet. Users can still retweet in a standard form from that window.
Twitter claims the results of these changes turned out to be satisfying enough to expand it to ‘likes’ as well. “These prompts helped decrease Quote Tweets of misleading information by 29% so we’re expanding them to show when you tap to like a labeled Tweet,” said Twitter Support.
So once these functionalities are in place, Twitter won’t deny you from liking a flagged tweet, it will just warn you that the tweet is misleading and “disputed”. The platform believes that this will help reduce the likes on tweets that are labeled and therefore, slow down its reach. The micro-blogging site told The Verge that the new function will be rolled out on the web and iOS platforms globally this week and it will come to Android in the coming weeks
The outgoing US President, Donald Trump has had the privilege of gathering a ton of labels on his tweets for misleading and spreading fake news during the elections. Several of his tweets such as claims of mail-in votes to be rigged, declaration that he had won the US Presidential elections and many more, were flagged by Twitter. Twitter couldn’t completely take down some of the tweets as one of its policies states, “We recognize that sometimes it may be in the public interest to allow people to view Tweets that would otherwise be taken down. We consider content to be in the public interest if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern”.
But social media platforms including Twitter have announced that they will be transferring the POTUS accounts to new president-elect Joe Biden on Inauguration day on January 20. This means Donald Trump would no more be excepted from Twitter’s policies and will face equal brunt as a normal user.