Twitter announced on Thursday that it would implement several measures to “protect civic conversation” in the run-up to the midterm elections, saying users “deserve to trust the election conversations and content they encounter” on the social media platform.
In an announcement titled, “Our approach to the 2022 US midterms,” the company explained that it aims “to enable healthy civic conversation on Twitter, while ensuring people have the context they need to make informed decisions.”
The company is “activating enforcement” of its “Civic Integrity Policy,” specifically designed to combat “harmful misleading information.” Twitter will be rolling out various measures, including blocking certain accounts from sharing links or content it deems false.
“People on Twitter will see a prompt prior to liking or sharing labeled tweets, and in cases where there is potential for harm associated with the false or misleading claim, the Tweet may not be liked or shared to prevent the spread of the misleading information,” Twitter claimed.
The site is also “bringing back prebunks.”
The purpose of prebunks is “to get ahead of misleading narratives on Twitter, and to proactively address topics that may be the subject of misinformation. Over the coming months, [Twitter will] place prompts directly on people’s timelines in the US and in Search when people type related terms, phrases, or hashtags.”
Likewise, the social media company will be “educating” users on how to identify fake news.
“Keep an eye on @TwitterSafety for media literacy tips and suggestions, like how to spot misinformation, which were developed in partnership with educational experts,” Twitter said.
During the 2020 election, Twitter notably censored an explosive New York Post story about then-Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The article focused on a laptop that reportedly belonged to Hunter and was filled with content that was problematic for his father’s campaign.
The head of Twitter’s Site Integrity Team told the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that the company censored the story because U.S. intelligence officials shared “rumors” it contained “potentially hacked information,” despite no evidence emerging that the information in the New York Post’s reporting came from a hack.
Then-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing last year that the company made a “mistake” by censoring the story.
“We recognize it as a mistake that we made, both in terms of the intention of the policy and also the enforcement action of not allowing people to share it publicly or privately,” Dorsey said. “We made a quick interpretation, using no other evidence, that the materials in the article were obtained through hacking and, according to our policy, we blocked them from being spread.”
For its part, Twitter pledged in its latest announcement “to share real-time information about [its] approach” as election day nears.