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Twitter reports 300,000 tweets labeled as misleading around election week

Nov 12, 2020, 5:08 PM
Twitter labeled tweets...
FILE: Twitter reported it labeled roughly 300,000 tweets for being "disputed" or "misleading" in the two-week period surrounding Election Day 2020, following through with company promises to crack down on misinformation.(Twitter)
(Twitter)

Twitter reported it labeled roughly 300,000 tweets for being “disputed” or “misleading” in the two-week period surrounding Election Day, following through with company promises to crack down on misinformation.

These tweets represented about 0.2% of all U.S. election-related tweets posted between Oct. 27 and Nov. 11. 

Labeled tweets warn users of misinformation

Of those 300,000 labeled tweets, 456 of them were also covered by a warning message with engagement features disabled — such as retweeting without comment, liking or replying. Roughly 74% of people viewed those tweets after accepting the warning message. 

“These enforcement actions remain part of our continued strategy to add context and limit the spread of misleading information about election processes around the world on Twitter,” the social media company said in a statement

In addition to warning labels, Twitter implemented prompts; the prompts reiterated that delays in election results and mail-in ballots are “safe and legitimate.”

“These enforcement actions remain part of our continued strategy to add context and limit the spread of misleading information about election processes around the world on Twitter,” the company said. 

An Election Day crackdown

As Election Day passed, the social media company decided to revert some of its pre-election changes. It also maintained others in its ongoing promise to “reduce the potential for misleading information to spread on Twitter.”

Twitter announced it would keep its feature that requires users to ‘Quote Retweet’ before sharing a post; the move was aimed at preventing people from immediately sharing potentially false information. This, the company said, has slowed the spread of misinformation on its site. The platform reported a 20% overall decrease in retweets/quote retweets. 

“This change slowed the spread of misleading information by virtue of an overall reduction in the amount of sharing on the service,” Twitter executives said. “We are taking more time to study and fully understand the impact of this change and are leaving it in-place for now.”

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Twitter reports 300,000 tweets labeled as misleading around election week