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Twitter Could Soon Penalize 'Harmfully Misleading' Tweets by Politicians

Representative image.
(Image: Reuters)

Representative image. (Image: Reuters)

Twitter is considering labelling tweets by politicians and public figures trying to spread misinformation with bright neon tags that read 'harmfully misleading'.

Politicians and public figures may soon find it tougher to pass lies as genuine information on Twitter as the platform is considering labelling such tweets with misinformation as "harmfully misleading", according to a leaked Twitter demo. As part of its efforts to fight misinformation on the platform, Twitter may add brightly coloured labels beneath such tweets to highlight that the message contains false information, according to a report in NBC News.

The report added that Twitter confirmed that while the leaked demo revealed one possible way of targeting misinformation, the company did not share any new date for the launch of any new misinformation features. The "harmfully misleading" tweets would include corrected information from fact-checkers, journalists, and other users who would take part in "Wikipedia-like community reports" feature.

"We're exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter," a spokesperson was quoted as saying. Examples of misinformation included a false tweet about whistleblowers by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a tweet by an unverified account posting a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The possibility of launching new features to fight spread of misinformation by politicians and public figures come ahead of the 2020 US presidential election. Fighting misinformation on Twitter gains immense significance as the platform is widely used by politicians to master public opinion in their favour.

Twitter last month announced a policy to ban tweets that "deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm," such as deep fakes, the NBC News report said.