social media platforms

Twitter tests option for reporting misleading tweets in PH, Brazil, Spain

Gelo Gonzales
Twitter tests option for reporting misleading tweets in PH, Brazil, Spain

TWITTER. People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013.

Kacper Pempel/Reuters

Twitter chose these countries for this feature test 'because we want to learn from a small, geographically diverse set of regions – including those where English is not the primary language – before scaling globally'

MANILA, Philippines – Twitter on Monday, January 17, announced in a press release that it’s testing a new reporting option in the Philippines, Brazil, Spain.

The new option will allow users to select “It’s misleading” when reporting a tweet. Before the update, users were able to report a tweet for being suspicious, spam-like, abusive, or containing sensitive material or expressing intentions of self-harm or suicide, as well as if the tweet is something the user is not interested in.

The new option was first tested in the US, South Korea, and Australia beginning August 2021. Since then, Twitter said it has received 3.73 million reports of 1.95 million distinct tweets authored by 64,000 accounts. The company said it launched the option to see if it’s an “effective tool for the Twitter community to report misinformation in real time.”

Bringing the new option to three new countries, Twitter said, “We selected these countries because we want to learn from a small, geographically diverse set of regions – including those where English is not the primary language –before scaling globally.” The upcoming elections in Brazil and the Philippines were a factor too in the selection as data coming from the test will, according to the company, help them to “further evaluate how this reporting feature is used during civic events.”

When selecting the “It’s misleading option,” three options are offered: “Political,” “Health,” or “Something else.” Further, when one selects “Political,” users can then specify whether its “Election information” or something else. Under “Health,” users can specify whether it’s “COVID-19 information” or something else.

“We want to understand if and how public reporting options can improve the speed and breadth of our efforts to identify potentially harmful misinformation,” Twitter said.

So far, Twitter said that the reports have been a “useful but noisy source information about potential violations of our rules.” Of the sample of tweets they have reviewed, the company said that only 10% were violative. By comparison, reports about safety and abuse, 20% to 30% were confirmed to have been violative.

Twitter is hoping to roll out the reporting feature to everyone but, according to the company, they are still looking to increase efficiency in filtering reports, and building machine learning models through the reporting data coming in. The company also said that through the test, they have been “able to identify more non-text-based misinformation shared on Twitter, including misinformation shared through third-party URLs and media.” – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.