Twitter Is Adding New Prompts To Counter Misinformation On The Platform, Without Stifling Free Speech

Twitter is contemplating a new strategy to deal with tweets that, while being misleading, are not severe enough to be blocked from the platform.

Twitter's had a huge problem with misleading or completely inaccurate content on their platform. While the likes of extremists and anti-vaxxers are near-constantly found online, the COVID-19 campaign gave these users an even larger problem. By using social media, and preying on the inherent dislike people had for staying at home and losing careers, a new wave of misinformation took root online. This wave's purpose? Propagating any and all conspiracy theories regarding the virus, its associated vaccines, and even its lethality.

Naturally, the mods at Twitter had to start working overtime. Posts that would actively convey fear-mongering sentiments (such as Bill Gates' 5G towers spreading the virus, or vaccines planting tracking microchips into the normal population) needed to be taken down. Others that discussed the pandemic as a whole needed expectations to be managed, but in a non-invasive manner. Links to reliable sites such as the CDC and WHO accompanied every COVID-related tweet on the platform. Ultimately, striking a balance between effective moderation and allowing freedom of speech is difficult. That's where Twitter's recent announcement comes into place.

Many individuals on the platform have argued that, despite their hot takes on the COVID-19 pandemic not breaking community guidelines, their tweets have been taken down. Twitter's answer to this? The creation of an entire slew of new prompts and labels for the purposes of marking misinformation. These new prompts will aim to monitor online conversation, and provide readers with context regarding the tweets at hand. This way, users can encounter new tweets on the COVID-19 pandemic safely.

The new prompts are warning messages that show up at different instances. For some cases, they're already to the relevant tweets, immediately informing users of I'll intent. On other occasions, the prompts will be encountered right before an individual shares that very tweet forward. Ultimately, such labels do much in the form of providing casual users on Twitter informed agency in their actions. The general community can be made aware of a tweet's potential intentions, good or otherwise, before sharing. On the other hand, free speech stills reigns ahead, as COVID-19 theorists and their lightweight opinions will not be taken down.

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