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Combating misinformation on Twitter

Mehmet Safak Sari
Mehmet Safak Sari
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With the pandemic, the spread of misinformation has turned into a crisis. Especially in social media, this has become a big problem. I also wrote in Journo, COVID19 has changed the way social media platforms deal with misinformation. In past, Social media platforms have been poor in tackling content that harms freedom of expression and democratic processes in their ‘agoras’. Yes. We know that hundreds of thousands of content are shared per second. However other than collecting our personal data and manipulating us, these platforms should have some duties, right?
At least, big techs that hear our voice have increased some protection methods even more.
Big tech has a vaccine misinformation problem – here's what a social media expert recommends
🐣 Birdwatch
Let’s focus on Twitter a little bit in this bulletin. Twitter has started to produce concrete solutions in the 2020 US elections to combat misleading content and announced that it has developed a tool.
Twitter Safety
We’re turning on a tool for key moments of the 2020 US election that enables people to report misleading information about how to participate in an election or other civic event.
At that time, after the public debate over political ads, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that political leaders shouldn’t have to pay for political ads. Then Twitter reported that it removed political ads from the platform.
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…🧵
When the pandemic entered our lives, the company took another step. Twitter users searching for “coronavirus” while it was starting to directing them “Know the Facts” warning. This link was going to the Twitter profiles of relevant public health organizations fighting the epidemic.
Helping the world find credible information about novel #coronavirus
Earlier this year, Twitter introduced its new tool “Birdwatch” to combat misinformation. In this launch, Twitter said that with Birdwatch, users will now be able to notice misleading information in their posts and write notes for alternative information sharing. The company still has not announced when this feature, which has started to be used in the USA, can be used in other countries.
Birdwatch is a pilot program from Twitter whereby individual users (aka Birdwatchers) submit notes correcting potentially false information in a tweet. Those notes usually contain links to a verified source that Twitter users reading the note can use to assess the veracity of the information.
But as far as I understood, the Birdwatch process was progressing slowly. That’s now, Twitter decided to seek help from experts. They started a partnership with Associated Press and Reuters
Bringing more reliable context to conversations on Twitter
Twitter finally turns to the experts on fact-checking
I hope these changes will also bring Twitter to start working with journalists and fact-checkers more often. 🤟
Go deeper
Let’s Keep the Vaccine Misinformation Problem in Perspective | WIRED
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Mehmet Safak Sari
Mehmet Safak Sari @msafaksari

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İstanbul / Turkey