Twitter launches against crisis misinformation. What to think?

Twitter wants to fight misinformation.

Disinformation has been a scourge since the dawn of time, long before the birth of the internet. But the network of networks and social media have amplified the phenomenon. Noting various abuses, Twitter wishes to do its utmost to facilitate access to quality information, including in times of crisis!

In this blog post, Twitter explains that it will adopt a policy against misinformation in times of crisis. This global initiative should support Twitter to disseminate credible and authoritative information. Social media does not want to amplify or recommend viral misinformation in times of crisis.

Establish the truth?

“During a crisis, it can be extremely difficult to establish whether something is true or false. To determine whether claims are misleading, we need verification from multiple alleged and publicly available sources, including evidence provided by conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, open-source investigators, journalists, and more. “, explains Twitter

“Once we have evidence that a claim may be misleading, we will not amplify or recommend content covered by this policy across Twitter,” he said. Tweets with content that violates the Crisis Disinformation Policy will be accompanied by a warning. In particular, it will not be possible to share or “like” them.

Examples of Twitter

Here are some examples of Tweets the network might add a disclaimer to:

  • False coverage or account of an event, or information that mischaracterizes conditions on the ground as a conflict evolves
  • False allegations concerning the use of force, incursions into territorial sovereignty, or around the use of weapons
  • Manifestly false or misleading allegations of war crimes or mass atrocities against specific populations
  • False information regarding the response of the international community, sanctions, defensive actions or humanitarian operations.

What to think?

Misinformation is nothing new. It is as old as humanity. The powerful will always try to write their hagiography to the detriment of history. Examples are not lacking. Writing history and sorting out the wheat from the chaff is a job, like sorting out relevant information from the propaganda maintained in particular by the various parties concerned, economics in mind.

Even if the initiative of Twitter is to be welcomed, it will not fail to raise a certain number of questions, in particular during the skids already programmed… That said, given that we sometimes struggle to distinguish misinformation, as shown by this week a study by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), this development should be closely monitored…

Xavier Studier

Online Disinformation – Perceptions and Actions

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