With less than a month until Election Day, Twitter announced it was upping its efforts to curb the spread of misinformation. But not everyone is happy with the approach.
On Friday, the social media giant revealed a set of temporary changes that discourages the use of the retweet function. Twitter claims the changes will make it much more difficult for users to spread false information related to the 2020 election, and will encourage users to be more considerate about the posts they share on their accounts.
“Twitter plays a critical role around the globe by empowering democratic conversation, driving civic participation, facilitating meaningful political debate, and enabling people to hold those in power accountable,” the company wrote in a blog. “But we know that this cannot be achieved unless the integrity of this critical dialogue on Twitter is protected from attempts — both foreign and domestic — to undermine
From Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.):
Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) also responded to the company’s tweet.
Twitter on Saturday said it would do better:
The episode highlighted the broader issue of social media abuse directed at female politicians — particularly from minority backgrounds.
Female congresswomen are far more likely than their male counterparts to be targeted with abusive posts on Facebook and Twitter, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shared exclusively with The Technology 202. And the research shows that Ocasio-Cortez and Omar received the highest proportion of abusive comments.
The findings are particularly important in the final weeks of a contentious presidential election, where a Black and Asian American woman is for the first time on the presidential ticket. They’re also a reminder that vice presidential candidate and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) is particularly vulnerable
Twitter has confirmed it’s working on a new feature, currently dubbed “Birdwatch,” that could let the Twitter community warn one another about misleading tweets that could cause harm.
There’s an awful lot we don’t know about the idea, including whether Twitter will actually release it to the public or how it might work in its final form, but enough has leaked out that we do have a pretty fair glimpse at the feature — which, we understand, is still early in development and would not be released ahead of the US election.
As TechCrunch notes, the existence of such a tool was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs through app code for evidence of unreleased features, back in August. At a basic level, the idea is that you’ll be able to attach a note to a misleading tweet:
Twitter has just expanded its voice tweets feature, which lets you record a snippet of audio to include with a tweet, to more users on iOS. But perhaps more significantly, Twitter is now saying it plans to add transcriptions to voice tweets to improve accessibility, which could help address criticisms from the feature’s June 17th launch.
If you want to get an idea of how voice tweets work right now, just press play on the below tweet to hear a voice clip from my colleague Tom Warren. There’s currently no way to see captions or a transcription of what he’s saying. (Note: Tom is not actually sharing exclusive next-gen console news.)
Without any way to see a transcription, voice tweets were quickly criticized for not being accessible. Then it came to light that there wasn’t a dedicated team at Twitter for accessibility — instead, the company asked employees to volunteer