In the world of social media, it’s easy to see why people fall victim to fake news and misinformation. Until this year, very little was done to protect internet users sensitive to misleading information, until the onslaught of COVID-19 conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of voter fraud in the U.S. election are forcing Facebook and Twitter to put in place measures to prevent further spread.
Indeed, Twitter seems to be doing everything possible to fight against disinformation on its platform. This week, Twitter has now chosen to go one step further: if you try to like a tweet that has already been flagged as containing bogus or disputed content, a warning will appear, urging the user to check the official news sources.
This adds another mental block between incorrect and otherwise misleading information and people who would otherwise be misled. Indeed, this additional measure to prevent fake news from being diverted from the news is, frankly, welcome.
Twitter is leading the way in taking meaningful action against the worst aspects of social media. Twitter is fighting against those who would accidentally push the masses in directions that would harm the innocent. But, this is the kind of action that should have been in effect from the start.
Twitter takes the lead
As mentioned above, the danger is in misleading users, especially in vital circumstances like elections for public office and life through our global pandemic. These warnings should appear on all platforms, including desktops and smartphones, iOS, Android, etc.
Twitter took action earlier this year with prompts for misleading information and for users tweeting or re-tweeting articles they haven’t actually read. Twitter suggested that these prompts reduced quotes from tweets containing misleading information by 29%.