Amid a concerted spread of misinformation online that has rattled democracies around the world in recent years, Twitter is launching a tool that will let users flag tweets that attempt to mislead voters.
The new tool will first be rolled out in India, where general elections are already underway, on Thursday, and in the European Union, which holds elections in the last week of May, on April 29.
“Any attempts to undermine the process of registering to vote or engaging in the electoral process is contrary to our company's core values,” Twitter officials wrote in a blog post.
The company described tweets that look like they’re manipulating or interfering in elections as including misleading information about how to vote or register to vote (i.e., tweets that falsely say you can vote by text message, phone call, email, or a tweet), false information about voting requirements, and misinformation about the officially announced date and time of an election.
Reporting a tweet misleading voters is similar to how you would report any other kind of tweet: select “Report Tweet” from the drop down menu on the tweet, and choose the option reading, “It’s misleading about voting.”
Notably, Twitter does not have a broad-based misinformation policy so far.
But the social media company, along with Facebook and Google, is a signatory to the Code of Practice against disinformation in the European Union. All three platforms report on their actions each month to the EU ahead of the European Parliament elections in May.
In its report released on Tuesday, the European Commission said that all three platforms had a long way to go when it came to tackling misinformation, and urged them to do more in key areas like ad transparency.