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Twitter Labels Nearly 3 Lakh Tweets on US Elections as 'Potentially Misleading'

File photos of Democratic candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

File photos of Democratic candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden and Republican incumbent Donald Trump.

Twitter labeled nearly 300,000 tweets under its Civic Integrity Policy for content that was disputed and potentially misleading in the US election period from October 27 till November 11.

Twitter labeled nearly 300,000 tweets under its Civic Integrity Policy for content that was disputed and potentially misleading in the US election period from October 27 till November 11.

These represent 0.2 per cent of all US election-related Tweets sent during this time period.

According to the company, 456 of those Tweets were also covered by a warning message and had engagement features limited (tweets could be Quote Tweeted but not Retweeted, replied to or liked).

"Approximately 74 per cent of the people who viewed those Tweets saw them after we applied a label or warning message," informed Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter.

"We saw an estimated 29 per cent decrease in Quote Tweets of these labeled Tweets due in part to a prompt that warned people prior to sharing," she said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said it also got ahead of potentially misleading information by showing everyone on Twitter in the US a series of pre-bunk prompts.

These prompts, which were seen 389 million times, appeared in people's home timelines and in Search, and reminded people that election results were likely to be delayed, and that voting by mail is 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," Gadde added.

Twitter encouraged people to add their own commentary when amplifying content by prompting Quote Tweets instead of Retweets.

"Since making this change, we observed a 23 per cent decrease in Retweets and a 26 per cent increase in Quote Tweets, but on a net basis the overall number of Retweets and Quote Tweets combined decreased by 20 per cent," said Kayvon Beykpour, Product Lead, Twitter and Co-Founder, Periscope.

"We remain vigilant and will continue working to protect the integrity of the election conversation on Twitter," he added.

Twitter also added additional warnings and restrictions on tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts), US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or that obtain significant engagement.


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