Twitter adding labels and warnings to tweets with ‘misleading information’ about COVID-19

Twitter has announced that it is expanding its efforts to combat misinformation related to COVID-19. This comes after it cracked down on tweets promoting “fake or ineffective treatments” for COVID-19 in March.

Starting today, the company is introducing new labels and warning messages to “provide additional context and information” on tweets with “disputed or misleading information” related to COVID-19. The labels will link to a Twitter-curated page or an external “trusted source” with more information.

The new labels will apply to any future tweets as well as tweets sent before today:

During active conversations about disputed issues, it can be helpful to see additional context from trusted sources. Earlier this year, we introduced a new label for Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media. Similar labels will now appear on Tweets containing potentially harmful, misleading information related to COVID-19. This will also apply to Tweets sent before today.

Twitter says misleading content can be broken down into three broad categories:

  • Misleading information – statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities.
  • Disputed claims – statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is contested or unknown.
  • Unverified claims – information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.

Twitter adds that it might also take things a step further and add warnings to tweets “depending on the propensity for harm and type of misleading information.”

Depending on the propensity for harm and type of misleading information, warnings may also be applied to a Tweet. These warnings will inform people that the information in the Tweet conflicts with public health experts’ guidance before they view it.

You can read the full announcement on Twitter’s blog here.

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