Twitter is making sizable changes to retweets and other features aimed at making it harder for politicians and other users to spread misinformation.
The changes are part of a push to protect the “critical dialogue” on Twitter “from attempts — both foreign and domestic — to undermine it,” said Twitter’s general counsel Vijaya Gadde and head of product, Kayvon Beykpour in a blog post announcing the moves.
The design changes, being rolled out in phases starting next week, are all meant to add friction to the distribution of misinformation, conspiracy theories and election interference. Among the most important:
Twitter will use warning labels to hide misleading tweets from some accounts. Anyone attempting to retweet that post will get a notice indicating that the tweet is “disputed,” and will be prevented from moving ahead unless they add their own commentary.
Once the changes to the site roll out, users will first have to click through a warning label to get through to that tweet, and then will be prevented from reflexively retweeting the president unless they add a bit of skin to the game by attaching their own thoughts to the president’s message.
The changes, said Twitter, are meant to get users to stop and think before sharing what they find floating around on Twitter — a move, the company believes, that will significantly stop misinformation from going viral.
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