Twitter announces steps to combat misinformation before US midterms

New changes will include redesigned fact-check labels to flag misinformation

The platform has faced criticism in the past for allowing the spread of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic and its attempts to deal with tweets by former US president Donald Trump. AFP
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Twitter on Thursday announced plans to combat misinformation in the lead-up to the US midterm elections in November.

The goal is to enforce the company's civic integrity policy, prevent false or misleading content that may suppress voting, and provide protections for accounts belonging to candidates and journalists.

“Twitter is the place to find real-time, reliable information about the 2022 midterms — whether you’re looking for breaking news from reporters, information on voting or policy positions from candidates,” the company said in a statement.

The new changes will include redesigned fact-check labels to flag misinformation and a dedicated “explore tab” for the elections.

“We aim to enable healthy civic conversation on Twitter, while ensuring people have the context they need to make informed decisions about content they encounter,” the statement said.

Twitter will also introduce “more sophisticated” alerts for suspicious activity, increased login defences and faster account recovery.

“Accounts will be reminded to use a strong password, encouraged to enable two-factor authentication and asked to check the third-party apps they’ve connected to their accounts,” Twitter said.

“We will also enable password reset protection for accounts by default to help prevent unauthorised password changes.”

Many of the changes were tested in 2021 but are now being reintroduced with more safeguards against misinformation.

The platform has faced criticism in the past for allowing the spread of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic and its attempts to deal with tweets by former US president Donald Trump.

In 2020, it started labelling some of Mr Trump’s tweets as misleading. It then permanently removed him from the platform in 2021 following the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Updated: August 11, 2022, 4:10 PM
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