Last Updated on May 19, 2022
Twitter recently announced its new “crisis misinformation policy” which will seek to suppress posts the company deems “viral misinformation.” The update will allow Twitter employees to label, and censor posts they determine to be misleading or false. The company claimed that the new tools will only be used in the case of a “humanitarian crisis.”
JUST IN – Twitter to put warnings on tweets that its staff classify as "misinformation" related to various crises. pic.twitter.com/E2UNGAPakh
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) May 19, 2022
“Today, we’re introducing our crisis misinformation policy – a global policy that will guide our efforts to elevate credible, authoritative information, and will help to ensure viral misinformation isn’t amplified or recommended by us during crises,” Twitter wrote in a blog post Thursday. “In times of crisis, misleading information can undermine public trust and cause further harm to already vulnerable communities.”
Twitter went on to define such crises as “situations in which there is a widespread threat to life, physical safety, health, or basic subsistence.”
“This definition is consistent with the United Nations’ definition of a humanitarian crisis and other humanitarian assessments,” the company added.
As part of its new “misinformation policy”, Twitter will employ a variety of tools, including the removal tweets from recommendations and disabling engagement on “misleading” posts. In addition to a label, users will not be able to like, retweet or reply to flagged tweets.
“To reduce potential harm, as soon as we have evidence that a claim may be misleading, we won’t amplify or recommend content that is covered by this policy across Twitter – including in the Home timeline, Search, and Explore,” Twitter explained. “In addition, we will prioritize adding warning notices to highly visible Tweets and Tweets from high profile accounts, such as state-affiliated media accounts, verified, official government accounts.”
The social media giant infamously flagged the New York Post’s bombshell Hunter Biden laptop story just weeks before the election.
In order to suppress the story — which included emails, text messages, photos and financial documents detailing foreign business dealings of the Biden family — Twitter cited its “hacked materials” policy. This policy, like many sections of Twitter’s terms of service, has been applied selectively on numerous occasions.
In a recent example, an illegally obtained list of donations to Canada’s Freedom Convoy protesters was allowed to be freely shared on the platform. The list included names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone who donated as little as $25 to the protest movement. Despite the fact that the information was obtained through a hack, Twitter took no action.
Many believe Twitter’s “crisis misinformation policy” will be yet another policy that is selectively applied to conservatives.
This would give the San Francisco-based platform even more power to meddle in election outcomes, as they did in 2020. A poll conducted by The Post Millennial this past March found that 16% of Biden voters would not have voted for him if they were aware of the laptop scandal.