In a bid to curb the spread of fake and abusive content with untraceable origins on its platform, micro-blogging platform Twitter is testing a new feature that would help track the original tweeter.
Once rolled out, the feature will help cyber cell and other law enforcement authorities nab the one who started a “bad” tweet with hateful, abusive and fake content, especially in India which faces general elections in the next few months.
Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch late Thursday that the “Original Tweeter” tag has been rolled out for testing to a small percentage of iOS and Android users across markets.
If this feature plays out as expected, it could help de-stress the toxic and abusive environment on social media platforms and help law enforcement authorities to identify and put questionable accounts and bullies on trials easily.
“Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation. As part of this work, we’re exploring adding more context to discussions by highlighting relevant replies – like those from the original Tweeter,” the report quoted Sara Haider, Director, Product Management, Twitter as saying.
Public figures and professional organisations who use the platform to stay connected to their fans and target audiences, very often face the wrath of online trollers and notorious fake news spreaders.
Even though the platform verifies accounts, it still allows users to change their names and profile pictures on the app that has led to several imitation issues.
As India gears up for general elections, owners of global social media platforms are in a huddle over how to curb the spread of misinformation and fake news in a country where deep mobile penetration has made Twitter and Facebook available at the fingertips of millions.
Addressing a town hall style meeting at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi in November, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said fake news is a way too big category, adding that the social network is taking “multi-variable” steps including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to curb the spread of misleading information ahead of the 2019 general elections in India. (IANS)
Twitter has also added a new way to save draft tweets.
To do so, just tap on the ‘X’ button in the top left corner of the tweet composer and then select the Save button. To access saved tweets, open the compose box and select the Drafts option at the top. (IANS)
Micro-blogging platform Twitter India on Wednesday launched a new gratitude emoji that can be triggered with ‘#thankful’, #gratitude’ and other variations of the words.
Since March 15, there have been over 250 million tweets worldwide expressing gratitude and thanks – a 26 per cent increase from February’s average.
“Who do we see people expressing that gratitude for? The most common word is ‘everyone’. Everyone who is an essential worker. Everyone who has helped. Everyone in healthcare. Everyone who has reached out. Everyone,” the company tweeted.
As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India.
The power of a uniquely open service during a public health emergency is crystal clear, says Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia at Twitter, adding that they are continuing to review the rules in the context of COVID-19 and considering ways in which they may need to evolve to account for new behaviours.
Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. “Our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts targeting manipulative discussions around COVID-19. We will continue to use both technology and our teams to help us identify and stop spammy behaviour and accounts,” Kaul told IANS.
Twitter has received positive response to its efforts in curbing COVID-19 related fake news and misinformation in India. The efforts include an events page dedicated to COVID-19 information called “Coronavirus Tweets from Indian authorities”, which is essentially a timeline of tweets from verified Indian officials and bodies such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi), Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan), the official Citizen Engagement Platform of the Government of Indian (@mygovindia, Press Information Bureau (@PIB_India) and other state and Central ministers, as well as public health agencies.
“Every account holder in India can see this page on the top of their home timeline. If someone has their settings set to Hindi, then they will see the same page with Hindi Tweets. The timeline also lets people track developments around the latest social distancing and healthcare information,” informed Kaul. The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries.
Please Follow NewsGram on Twitter To Get Latest Updates From Around The World!
“This public service is allowing the Ministry to communicate effectively and at scale with the public, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated account @CovidIndiaSeva establishes a direct channel between the Government and citizens to provide access to authoritative health and public information,” Kaul elaborated.
She said that Twitter India is regularly working with trusted partners, including public health authorities, researchers, NGOs, and governments to keep improving its fight against COVID-19. “To tackle misinformation related to COVID-19, we have broadened our definition of harm and expanded our safety rules to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” said Kaul.
The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content. “Additionally, we’re continuing to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules – half of which we catch before they’re ever reported to us. We continue to remain vigilant,” Kaul added.
Twitter is releasing a new endpoint into Twitter Developer Labs to enable approved developers and researchers to study the public conversation about COVID-19 in real-time. Tweets by people on the service will be made available to researchers and developers for free. According to Kaul, the data will help research the spread of the disease, understand the spread of misinformation, crisis management, emergency response, and communication within communities.
“As we’ve said on many occasions, our approach to protecting the public conversation is never static. That’s particularly relevant in these unprecedented times. We intend to review our thinking daily and will ensure we’re sharing updates on any new clarifications to our rules or major changes to how we’re enforcing them,” Kaul told IANS. (IANS)