Twitter on Monday started introducing new labels and warning messages that will provide additional context and information on some tweets containing disputed or misleading information related to COVID-19. Twitter said it will take action based on three broad categories:
These include "misleading information" -- statements or assertions that have been confirmed to be false or misleading by subject-matter experts, such as public health authorities. The other two categories are "disputed claims", statements or assertions in which the accuracy, truthfulness, or credibility of the claim is genuinely contested or unknown; and "unverified claims", information (which could be true or false) that is unconfirmed at the time it is shared.
Labels will be applied to misleading information and disputed claims. These new labels will link to a Twitter-curated page or external trusted source containing additional information on the claims made within the tweet. Depending on the propensity for harm and type of misleading information, warnings may also be applied to a tweet. These warnings will inform people that the information in the tweet conflicts with public health experts' guidance before they view it.
For example, a message saying "some or all of the content shared on this tweet conflicts with guidance from public health experts regarding COVID-19" may appear before a user tries to open a tweet with a disputed claim.
"Our teams are using and improving internal systems to proactively monitor content related to COVID-19. These systems help ensure were not amplifying Tweets with these warnings or labels and detecting the high-visibility content quickly," Twitter's Head of Site Integrity Yoel Roth and Director for Public Policy Strategy Nick Pickles wrote in a blog post.
"Additionally, well continue to rely on trusted partners to identify content that is likely to result in offline harm. Given the dynamic situation, we will prioritise review and labelling of content that could lead to increased exposure or transmission," they added. Twitter, however, said that embedded tweets and tweets viewed by people not logged into Twitter may still appear without a label.