As part of its ongoing efforts to stop politically motivated groups from using its platform to spread misinformation, Twitter's launching a new, simplified process which will enable users to report tweets which attempt to mislead voters on elements of the actual voting process.
Public conversation on Twitter is never more important than during elections. Today, we’re launching a new reporting feature to tackle deliberate attempts to mislead about voting. We’ll start with #LokSabhaElections2019 & #EUelections2019 https://t.co/rDdEwX3FcR pic.twitter.com/jrLOc3k1hC— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) April 24, 2019
As you can see in the example, Twitter's adding a new option to the reporting flow - 'It's misleading about voting'. Once selected, the user will then be able to add extra detail about the tweet, in order to help Twitter's moderation team better categorize and remove such from the platform, reducing their potential impact.
As explained by Twitter:
"Voting is a fundamental human right and the public conversation occurring on Twitter is never more important than during elections. Any attempts to undermine the process of registering to vote or engaging in the electoral process is contrary to our company's core values."
Specifically, Twitter has outlined its rules on this type of misuse.
You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections. This includes but is not limited to:
- Misleading information about how to vote or register to vote (for example, that you can vote by Tweet, text message, email, or phone call);
- Misleading information about requirements for voting, including identification requirements; and
- Misleading statements or information about the official, announced date or time of an election.
Voter manipulation via social platforms is just one aspect of the political process which has come under more scrutiny in recent times, but it's a crucial, tactical element that various politically motivated groups have used to sway poll results.
As an example, last year, during the US midterms, Twitter deleted more than 10,000 accounts for attempting to mislead people about what day the election was on, or to stop them coming to the polls through fake reports.
There are, obviously, a range of other ways that social platforms are being used to spread related misinformation and suppress or influence voting, but the basic concept of ensuring people actually have the opportunity to submit their vote is key, and providing a simplified flow to help stop such manipulation is a solid step for Twitter to take.
Twitter says the new reporting option will be fully implemented later this month ahead of upcoming elections in India and the EU.