In the days leading up to the US election, Twitter has made a host of policy and functional changes to ensure that the spread of misleading information is curbed and no major security mishaps happen. Today, the social media giant has revealed another set of actions it is taking to further strengthen its commitment.
October 20 onwards, Twitter will encourage people across the world to quote tweet rather than simply retweet something. “We will encourage people to add their own commentary prior to amplifying content by prompting them to Quote Tweet instead of Retweet Twitter says in a blog post. When you tap on the retweet button, you will directly be led to the quote tweet page so that it adds some friction to the amplification of misleading content and gives users an opportunity to add some of their own thoughts to the conversation. The test goes live for some users starting today.
Additionally, for the US market, all Trends in the “For You” tab will include a description or relevant content to tell users why exactly a particular topic or person is trending. Here’s how the “For You” section will look:
Plus, you will no longer see “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people you don’t follow in your timeline, and no related notifications will be sent either. “This will likely slow down how quickly Tweets from accounts and topics you don’t follow can reach you, which we believe is a worthwhile sacrifice to encourage more thoughtful and explicit amplification,” the company adds.
Starting next week, Twitter will show a prompt that directs users to credible information when they try to retweet content that has been labeled as misleading. Twitter already slows down the spread of such tweets via its recommendation algorithms to reduce their visibility, and its latest decision is just another step to help users ‘make informed decisions.’
Moreover, tweets that have been labeled will now show warnings that users need to tap before they can actually see its contents. If such tweets come from US political figures or high-engagement accounts with over 100,000 followers, Twitter will also turn off the like, reply, and retweet buttons for them. Users will only be able to use the quote tweet feature for these tweets, and they won’t surface in recommendations either.