Social media

Here’s how social media giants, including Twitter and Meta, are bracing for midstream misinformation

Topline

All major social media platforms have outlined plans to tackle misinformation around the midterm election and its immediate aftermath, but questions will remain about their effectiveness and the capacity of these platforms to implement. these measures adequately after struggling to do so in the 2020 election.

Highlights

Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has temporarily suspended all “political, election and social” ads from its platforms as it did in the 2020 election and says it will reject any ads that discourage people from voting or question the legitimacy of elections – will also remove posts that promote voter suppression, including misinformation about dates, locations, times, and voter eligibility.

TikTok says so has been tagged all content around the midterms with links to its “Election Center” page which the company says will offer users “authoritative information” on the polls.

The platform will remove any content pushing election misinformation, harassment of election officials, hateful behavior and violent extremism and any content being fact-checked by its partners will not be recommended on the “For You” feed. ” of the user.

Twitter said it plans to preempt misinformation on the platform by using “prebunks” which are prompts that appear on a user’s timeline that “proactively address topics that may be subject to misinformation.”

As it did in 2020, Twitter says it will continue to use labels on tweets sharing election-related misinformation, saying these both help direct people to demystifying the content while reducing engagement levels for those tweets.

YouTube and its parent Google will rely on the Associated Press to display “authoritative election results” on their platforms, while YouTube will also elevate content from “authoritative news sources” like “CNN and Fox Newslimit the spread of “harmful election misinformation” and add information panels on top of all election-related search results.

To monitor

All eyes will be on Twitter after its recent acquisition by billionaire and self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Elon Musk. While Twitter continues to have policies in place to deal with election misinformation, there have been concerns about its ability to enforce those policies as it is set to lose almost half of its workforce in a collective licensing Friday. Earlier this week, Twitter security and integrity officer Yoel Roth recognized that the platform had seen a brief spike in hateful content after it was acquired by Musk, but attributed most of those issues to a small number of troll accounts. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that most members of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team do not have access to the platform’s internal moderation tools. On top of that, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk came under fire over the weekend after he tweeted an unfounded conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband. Musk, who has embarked on a war of words with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.), responded to a clip of the congresswoman accusing Musk of restricting his Twitter account by writing, “What can I say? It was a pure abuse of power. »

Key Context

All of the policies outlined by the major social media platforms appear to be largely based on the measures that were in place for the 2020 elections. effectiveness of label use and fact-checking by “authoritative sources”. In the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election, all platforms had to scramble to deal with former President Donald Trump’s refusal to give in and the various conspiracy theories shared by him and his supporters about the legitimacy of the electoral process. The proliferation of these false claims, led by the former president, came to a head when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on January 6, resulting in the former president being banned from all major social media platforms.

Tangent

It’s unclear what kind of “authoritative news” content YouTube plans to elevate, but choosing Fox News as one of the sources may raise some eyebrows as the network faces $1.6 billion . court case of the voting machine maker Dominion who accused him of amplifying false claims about the voting machines used to rig the 2020 election.

Further reading

Twitter security chief admits ‘rise in hateful behavior’ as company apparently limits access to moderation tools (Forbes)