How to report election-related fake news on Twitter

Science

26 Apr 2019

You can report election-related fake news on Twitter. Hogwash much?

Twitter is bolstering its reporting tools as part of an effort to keep people from spreading fake news on the platform.

The move, announced just recently by the company, comes just as many continue to raise concerns over the risk of Lok Sabha Election manipulation using the platform.

However, we wonder if this reporting tool can do any meaningful job. Too little, too late.

Feature

Dedicated section to report election-related news

Dedicated section to report election-related news

Twitter has introduced a dedicated section where people spotting misleading information related to elections or aimed at interfering with them can be reported.

The information reported through this section could be anything that undermines the election process in any way.

Twitter cited various examples, including misleading information about the voting process or the date/time of voting.

Process

How can you report election-related fake news

The new tools can be used on both the app and the web version of Twitter, but the process remains the same in both cases.

For any tweet that may seem misleading, hit the drop-down arrow on the upper right corner and tap on 'Report Tweet'.

Then, select "it's misleading about voting" and pick the option describing how it's misleading to report the post.

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Add additional information, if required

On the final submission page, Twitter also provides an additional text-box which can be used to add additional information about the tweet being reported, like how it could be contributing toward a broader election manipulation effort.

Roll-out

Roll-out has started in India

Roll-out has started in India

Twitter announced the new reporting feature while claiming that it would be available and fully operational in India starting April 25.

But that's the thing, the roll-out has just started and not everyone, including myself, has received the capability yet.

Notably, Twitter has also promised the same feature for the EU elections starting next month.

Concern

Political misuse of social media: A big concern

The new tool comes amid growing scrutiny of social media platforms owing to the risk of election interference.

Earlier this year, Colin Crowell, Twitter's VP of global public policy, had appeared before a Parliamentary Committee on IT to address these concerns.

He had assured election was Twitter's top priority and the company will be investing in both its platform and personnel to prevent manipulation.

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