Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has taken small steps to fight false information, from uprooting bot accounts to banning political ads, states an item received by Capitol Communicator. In 2020, the microblogging service is making moves like never before—not only to crack down on false information, but to correct it, states a Fortune post that quotes Anthony Shop, co-founder and chief strategy officer of D.C.-based Social Driver.
“Twitter has been test driving new ways to fight tweets both misinformative (inaccurate, but not necessarily ill-intended) and disinformative (intentionally misleading), according to NBC News. One possible method, according to a series of graphics leaked to the network, is flagging tweets with Snopes-style badges if they’re deemed “harmfully misleading.”
“In one proposed image, fictional journalists rebut nonexistent tweets by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, author and columnist Anand Ranganathan, and GOP Congressman Kevin McCarthy. As a reward, the accounts would receive small green “community badges” for their efforts.
“The problem is that an average Twitter user may not even believe the ultra-stringently fact-checked New York Times. In fact, a 2019 Gallup poll shows that only 41% of Americans trust mass media at all.”
“On one hand, I love that when something’s false, we’re finding a way to call it out,” Shop told Fortune of Twitter’s efforts. “But on the other hand, I worry that the way psychology and human nature works, that it will actually be self-defeating.”
Fortune stated that “Shop describes Social Driver as “a digital agency that helps companies connect with people today,” and his projects often involve correcting misinformation about public health issues like vaccines and community water fluoridation.
“For example, confirmation bias, meaning the human tendency to favor information that confirms previously held convictions, is highly operative in the spread of falsehoods, according to Shop.
““People make decisions emotionally and then they use facts to back up their decision,” Shop says. “If that’s what people do, why would we think it’s going to be any different?””