Twitter has announced a new policy for preventing the spread of misinformation on the platform. The company said it had established new standards for gating or blocking promotion of tweets spreading misinformation during a crisis.
“Content moderation is more than just leaving up or taking down content,” Twitter’s head of safety and integrity Yoel Roth, said in a blog post.
“We’ve expanded the range of actions we may take to ensure they’re proportionate to the severity of the potential harm.”
As part of the new policy, Twitter will pay special attention to false reports regarding events, false accusations regarding the use of weapons or force, and broader misinformation about atrocities and international response.
False information is normally spread quickly during a crisis, as there is little time to verify any fresh information coming in. Most users also rush to tweet unverified info creating a challenge to moderators.
Misinformation-related tweets will not necessarily be deleted or banned under the new policy; instead, Twitter will include a warning label asking users to click a button before the tweet can be viewed (similar to the existing labels for explicit imagery). Algorithmic promotion of the tweets will also be disabled.
The stronger standards are meant to be limited to specific events.
Twitter will initially apply the policy to content concerning the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the company expects to apply the rules to all emerging crises going forward. In this case, crisis is defined as “situations in which there is a widespread threat to life, physical safety, health, or basic subsistence.”
The stronger standards such as banning or deleting will be limited to specific events.