May 27, 2019
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Twitter launches reporting tool to curb misinformation during elections

Richard Drew | AP
Richard Drew | AP
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Feb. 8, 2018.

Twitter unveiled a new reporting tool designed to prevent deliberate attempts to misinform voters on Wednesday.

As part of the social media company’s efforts to curb election manipulation and interference, the tool allows users to flag posts that attempt to mislead users about how to register to vote or cast a ballot; identification requirements for voting; and the date and time of an election.

The reporting tools arrive as social media companies face continued pressure to guard against disinformation and the spread of incendiary posts intended to divide segments of the public. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Russian operatives relied on every major social media platform to influence voters, spread false information and incite social divisions among the electorate.

While using the app, people can report tweets that violate Twitter’s policy by clicking on the drop down menu and selecting the option for “it’s misleading about voting.”

“The public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections,” Twitter said on its web page outlining the company’s election integrity policy. “Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression, the value upon which our company is based.”

Twitter will launch the reporting tool Thursday in India, where the general election is underway. Users in Europe will see the tool next week, ahead of parliamentary elections in May. Twitter said it will release the tools for additional elections around the world throughout the year.

 



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