Twitter plans misinfo labels, but are they a good idea?

March 5, 2020

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As part of its effort to deal with the spread of misinformation on its platform, Twitter is experimenting with adding colored labels that would appear directly beneath any inaccurate statements posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features sent recently to NBC. The labels would contain fact-checks either by Facebook’s team of third-party checkers, or by journalists and other users who agreed to participate in a kind of “community reports” crowdsourcing effort. Twitter later confirmed to the network that the leaked demo (which was accessed via a publicly available website), is one possible version of a new policy aimed at curbing the spread of misinformation. The original NBC News report said the new features would be rolling out on March 5, but the story was later updated to say Twitter doesn’t have plans to roll out the labels—or any other misinformation features—on any specific date. Whether such a feature would actually help curb misinformation is still an open question.

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