Twitter expands misinformation reporting to three more countries

Twitter’s experiment with misinformation reporting is now available in more countries. As TechCrunch reports, Twitter has expanded the “it’s misleading” reporting test to Brazil, Spain and the Philippines — a significant rollout when the option was previously available only in Australia, South Korea and the US. The rollout should continue throughout 2022.

The tool has been popular, at least. Twitter said it received over 3.7 million reports since the misinformation test went live in August 2021. While site integrity head Yoel Roth said the “vast majority” of misinformation responses were either automated or proactive, the user reports have already helped the company detect patterns. It was especially useful for spotting links and media beyond Twitter, Roth said.

The leader cautioned that reports had their limitations so far. Only about 10 percent of them merited action versus 20 to 30 percent for other categories (such as abuse). Some people were prone to merely flagging off-topic tweets as misinformation. The experimentation will give Twitter a chance to “filter and prioritize” reports, according to Roth, and to improve the functionality for non-English languages.

Along with the Birdwatch fact-checking program, the expanded reporting test represents a partial shift toward crowdsourcing as part of Twitter’s efforts to fight falsehoods. We wouldn’t expect Twitter to rely primarily on users given the sheer volume of posts. These initiatives might help Twitter catch misinformation it would otherwise miss, however, and could prevent bogus claims from gaining significant traction.

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