Monday 25 January 2021
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Twitter to launch feature to alert users about fake news on 25 April

Twitter said this feature would be launched on 25 April in the middle of Lok Sabha election 2019 that is going in India. The election to the European Parliament is slated for 29 April.

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India Elections Twitter to launch feature to alert users about fake news on 25...

New Delhi: Twitter has added a feature to its platform through which users of the micro-blogging site will be able to complain about misleading content related to voting and elections. The social media platform has taken the step under its effort to keep wrong information away from its platform, it claims even as thousands of users complain of its leftist bias. The feature has not been launched yet.

The spread of fake news on Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook has been a major concern, especially during elections in large democracies like India and the United States. The government has warned these social media companies that any kind of misuse of these forums to influence elections will not be tolerated.

A study in early April had claimed that in the last 30 days, one in every two persons got fake news from some or the other digital platform.

Twitter released a statement on Wednesday, saying that the new feature was in addition to the pre-existing features, under which any person could complain about any kind of objectionable content on the social media platform.

Twitter said that this feature would be launched on 25 April. The launch of this feature is happening at a time when Lok Sabha election 2019 is going in India. The election to the European Parliament is slated for 29 April.

According to the micro-blogging website, this feature will remain active during elections worldwide.

Twitter irony

On 19 August 2018, chief executive of Twitter Jack Dorsey had admitted that those who work for the social media giant had their own biases — and that they were  “more left-leaning”. He made the confession after facing a lot of criticism by US President Donald Trump who said Twitter was “shadow banning” and silencing conservative voices.

Interestingly, Twitter regularly assures its users that the micro-blogging site is a safe place even though its blocking feature is not as effective as the similar feature of other social networking sites is. A blocked person can still snoop on the blocker even without using another Twitter handle. As political debates heat up more in an election season, this remains an unaddressed issue.

In February, Facebook claimed it had fired a contractor who worked with a right-wing sting group Project Veritas on a “stunt” as the group today published screenshots of internal Facebook conversations, according to the news website, The Verge.

While a feature on WhatsApp has for long been alerting its users of forwarded messages — the most notorious source of fake news — it still does not allow the administrators of groups to delete messages for all members of a group that received the message. This, even as the Indian law holds the admins culpable for the spread of fake news via WhatsApp groups.

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