After launching a first test of new alert formats in July, Twitter is now rolling out its improved labels for misinformation, with varying messages for different types of potentially misleading material in the tweets.
As you can see here, the new tags will now be displayed with different alert messages and colors, to provide more context and to better explain why each tweet was flagged.
Twitter says its initial disinformation tags, published in February of last year, have been criticized for being too small and too unclear, which is why it has been moved to update the format and ensure that it is doing its part, where possible, to inform users of the claims. deceptive who do not otherwise violate its guidelines.
During testing over the past few months, with the updated format available to some users on the web version of the app, the the results were positive:
“In our testing, the new design increased the click-through rate on labels by 17%, from 3% to 3.5%. This number may seem low, but in many contexts a 2% click-through rate is considered exceptionally good. The new label design also reduced market share by 10% and likes by 15%. Reducing sharing and engagement helps prevent deceptive content from spreading on Twitter.“
While Facebook has borne the brunt of the criticism regarding the spread of disinformation and manipulation on social media, Twitter has also played a role, with various research reports showing that harmful disinformation trends often originate from the platform. form, before spreading to other networks.
Much of this is attributed to robot activity – Iin the wake of the 2016 US elections, for example, researchers discovered “huge networks of interconnected Twitter bots“seeking to influence the political debate, the larger one incorporating some 500,000 fake accounts. A survey of Wired in 2019 showed that bot profiles dominated political news feeds, with bot accounts contributing up to 60% of tweet activity around some major events, while at the start of last year, a network of Twitter bots turned out to be spreading false information about the bushfire crisis in Australia, amplifying anti-climate change conspiracy theories as opposed to established facts.
Because Twitter is smaller, in terms of the total number of users, its influence is apparently less, but many of the more engaged news consumers and conspiracy theorists stay in touch with the latest updates. via tweet. They then aggregate this information on other networks. So although Twitter has only 211 million active users per day, compared to Facebook’s 1.9 billion, it still plays a key role in spreading information, both positive and negative.
That’s why it’s important for Twitter to take the necessary steps to tackle potentially harmful disinformation.
Of course, the criticism then comes down to who decides on disinformation and what doesn’t, but Twitter, in partnership with fact-checking groups, is taking the right steps here to move its alerts and efforts forward. fact-checking.