Twitter is considering, among other things, introducing a community-based moderation system that would enable users to fact-check tweets and earn “points” on the platform, according to leaked design plans.
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The labels: A leaked memo, obtained by NBC News, shows that the company is experimenting with several features aimed at cracking down on the spread of misinformation, including placing orange and red-colored labels under tweets, which look almost as big as a tweet itself, that fact-checkers and journalists have determined are misleading or false, and to point users to their rebuttals.
Examples where Twitter might apply the labels, per the memo, include a tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) saying that 40% of the guns in the U.S. are sold without background checks. Another labeled tweet discusses the possibility that the coronavirus was man-made, and a third, posted by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, says the U.S. intelligence community secretly removed whistleblower rules before the whistleblower who raised concerns about President’s Trump conservation with Ukraine came forward.
Other users too would be encouraged to fact-check statements made by prominent figures, including politicians, as part of a feature called Community Notes. Twitter will ask them to rate whether a post is “likely” or “unlikely” to contain “harmfully misleading” information, how other users will agree with their assessment on a percentage scale, and why they believe the tweet is “harmfully misleading.”
In exchange, Twitter will award users “points” and a chance at earning a “community badge,” for contributing “in good faith and act like a good neighbor” and providing “critical context to help people understand information they see.”
“The more points you earn, the more your vote counts,” the memo reads.
Here’s what the community reporting tool could look like.
Two schools of thought on community moderation:
—Without checks, it could be brigaded by bad actors, as most things do. But!
—Bad actors could get scarlet letter’d by abusing the reports functionhttps://t.co/Yhyv45WFjG pic.twitter.com/cE3CJJA0hB
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) February 20, 2020
Users who frequently disagree with the general Twitter community on what is false and misleading might not be given an opportunity to weigh in.
Worth noting: Twitter pointed out that the features and policies outlined in the leaked memo are part of a broader list of suggestions that could be implemented to fight what they consider to be misinformation. It is unclear whether Twitter will officially introduce these features and unknown when it will announce any changes at all.
“We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for Tweets on Twitter. This is a design mockup for one option that would involve community feedback. Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it.” Twitter said.
Critics on social media expressed skepticism about the functionality and effectiveness of the proposed system.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 20, 2020
I can’t forsee anything that could possibly go wrong with this……#MinistryOfTruth
— Bryan Jones (@bpjauburn) February 20, 2020
So, proponents of ideologies that are underrepresented on Twitter will have their tweets routinely flagged as misinformation?
Everyone who’s reading this knows exactly what’s going to happen/who’s going to be targeted.
For that reason alone it’s absurd.https://t.co/9rJLZJtvai
— John (@JohnFMiller86) February 20, 2020
Fighting deepfakes: Twitter is, however, planning to remove or label “manipulated media” on the platforms, starting March 5. This includes videos like the viral video of House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) that was tweaked to make her appear as if she’s slurring her words.
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