Twitter will now warn you when you like a disputed tweet

24 Nov 2020230 Views

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As part of its latest efforts to clamp down on misinformation, Twitter will now warn you when you try to like a disputed, labelled tweet.

In the run up to the 2020 US presidential election, Twitter started attaching warning labels onto posts with disputed or misleading information. Now, it is adding another layer of warnings for users in an attempt to crack down on misinformation on the platform.

The social network said that when a user tries to like a disputed post, they will be shown a warning telling them that there is disputed information in the post and guiding them to a support page. According to The Verge, Twitter said that this latest functionality will be rolled out initially for web and iOS users, with those on Android expecting to receive it in the coming weeks.

Twitter had already rolled out a similar function for when users try to retweet a disputed post. It said that the introduction of these warning prompts saw the number of quote tweets of misleading information fall by 29pc.

The platform also added a temporary change around the time of the US election in an attempt to stem the spread of misinformation, whereby trying to retweet a post would prompt users to quote tweet it instead of just automatically sharing the post.

Addressing Fleets issues

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Elsewhere, Twitter recently introduced a 24-hour post feature called ‘Fleets’. It described the new function as a “low-pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening”.

Following tests in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea, the social network said it found that people were more likely to join a conversation with Fleets, while new users found it easier as a starting point for sharing their tweets. Users can share text, tweets, photos or videos and customise Fleets with various background and text options.

However, the roll-out of this feature did not go as smoothly as planned, with the company temporarily slowing its release due to “performance and stability problems”. In some instances, users were reporting that the feature was crashing their app or causing it to freeze.

In a Twitter thread yesterday (23 November), the company addressed privacy and security concerns regarding Fleets, such as posts being visible to people who are not logged in to the app. While Fleets was designed only for other Twitter users to see, the company confirmed that Fleets metadata could be scraped from the platform using APIs.

“We don’t believe this is a security or privacy concern because Fleets (from accounts without the ‘protected’ setting) are public,” Twitter said. “We updated our systems today to require an authenticated session before requesting Fleets metadata, to add more friction to use these APIs.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic

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