Twitter wants you to think before retweeting the lies of unscrupulous politicians

Think before you “retweet”. What a strange notion.

The US presidential election is fast approaching, and politicians across the country are gearing up to chatter on their favorite social media platforms. Twitter hopes you will at least think for a moment before helping spread those falsehoods.

one in long blog post(opens in a new tab), the San Francisco-based company has laid out its plan — if all goes well — to limit the spread of misinformation ahead of the election. Starting October 20, and “at least until the end of election week,” tweets from US political figures will be put on a short leash.

especially, If Twitter identifies a tweet from a US political figure as violating “policies against misleading information about civic integrity, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media” (and that’s a big if), and If It then decides to assign a label to said tweet, limiting people’s ability to interact with that tweet – and a friendly nudge.

You will not be able to reply, like or retweet tweets directly. However, you’ll still be able to Tweet it – that is, retweet it with a comment. And here comes the new prompt: Starting next week, if users try to retweet a tweet with one of the labels, “they’ll see a text pointing to credible information about the subject before they’re able to amplify it.” Will see the signs.”

Lindsay McCallum, who works on the Twitter Communications team, keep it short(opens in a new tab)Think before tweeting[.],

Importantly, these restrictions apply to more than just the accounts of US politicians. They also cover campaign accounts, US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, and accounts that “achieve significant engagement”.

Of course, we all know who these rules are really directed at.

In addition to the above changes, Twitter is pushing for plain-old retweets. Going forward, when you hit the “Retweet” button, you will automatically be brought to the “Quote Tweet” field.

“While this adds some additional friction for those who simply want to retweet, we hope it will encourage everyone to consider not only why they are amplifying a tweet, but It also increases the likelihood that people add their own thoughts, reactions, and perspectives to the conversation,” notes the blog post. “If people don’t add anything on the quote tweet composer, it will still show up as a retweet.”

Mashable Image
Slow down your roll.
Credits: Twitter

Twitter rolled out this specific change today, to an unspecified number of people, but it will eventually roll out to everyone.

Other poll-related updates include “stopping your timeline with ‘liked by’ and ‘who you don’t follow’ recommendations” (you can also set your timeline to chronological), and , like Facebook before it, prematurely labeling tweets announcing election victories.

See also: Trump falsely claims ‘cure’ for COVID-19 in Facebook, Twitter posts

Taken together, these changes make clear that Twitter expects the closing day of the election — and the weeks ahead — to be a hot mess online. Maybe, just maybe, this effort will make things a little less muddy.

UPDATE: October 10th, 2020, 9:05am PDT: This post has been updated to emphasize that some of Twitter’s announced changes (i.e. defaulting to quote retweet fields) apply to all users, and to add that retweets labeled tweets are not allowed to be retweeted. Attempting to result in users being shown a “hint” towards “trusted” information.”

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