Twitter’s Testing A New Feature Which Aims To Combat Misinformation
As can be seen in an example by Jan Manchun Wong, an expert reverse engineer, this labelling system will comprise of three different alerts on tweets that are flagged based on specific keywords. At the current stage of development, these labels are: ‘Get the Latest’
This alert applies to new topics that are constantly or quickly updating and changing. This flag will allow Twitter users to stay connected and updated to any authoritative info from official sources on the platform. Some keywords that may be tagged under ‘Get the Latest’ are ‘election’ and ‘poll.’
Similar to “Get the Latest’, this tag will also apply to constantly updating news topics. However, these topics are most likely ones that run for longer periods of time. This would guarantee Twitter users direct links to official sources posting about topics like COVID-19,
The final category is tagged onto tweets that include questionable claims or ‘misleading’ information. Moreover, this tag will once again provide links to official sources that refute these claims.
While the first two tags will most likely be prompted by certain keywords, the final tag will have to be assigned by staff members as it would be most difficult for an automated system to detect relevant and irrelevant content. While this ‘tagging system’ could benefit users by allowing them to understand important information and counter the spread of false information, this system could also end up cluttering timelines, making Twitter much more unpleasant to use. However, seeing as it is still in the testing phase, we can only suggest and hope that these tags won't be on every single tweet. Speaking of suggestions, it can be noted that some users have said that these alerts look very similar to quote tweets and should be re-colored in order to avoid confusion. Up to today, Twitter is still looking for better ways to move forward with the system but it is most definitely interesting to watch the latest development and see how the system evolves.