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This is how Twitter will combat misinformation in war and other global crises

Twitter announced a new policy that will combat disinformation in times of crisis such as wars or a pandemic. The company explained that they will take measures in the accounts that use the social network to share false information that could harm the affected populations. The new rules will limit the visibility of tweets and disable RTs or likes to reduce reach.

According to Yoel Roth, Head of Security and Integrity, the crisis disinformation policy applies in situations where there is a widespread threat to life, physical safety, health or basic subsistence. Although the framework began to be defined in 2021, the war in Ukraine accelerated the application of the new rules.

Roth indicates that it is a challenge to determine if something is true or false during a period of crisis, so they will use conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, researchers, journalists and other reliable sources. check.

“As soon as we have evidence that a claim may be misleading, we will not amplify or recommend content that is covered by this policy on Twitter, including in the Home, Search and Explore timeline,” it said. If the tweets violate the rules, a warning that the content is false will be added to them, although the content will not be deleted.

This tweet violated Twitter's Rules on sharing false or misleading information that could cause harm to populations affected by the crisis. However, in order to preserve this content for accountability purposes, Twitter has determined that this tweet should remain available.

Twitter takes aim at Russia and its disinformation campaign about the Ukraine war

Photo: manhhai | Flickr The social network will pay special attention to accounts with a large number of impressions or interactions. Profiles of state-affiliated television stations, politicians or verified government institutions will be targeted. Twitter will not only add a warning, but will prevent content from being shared and reduce the account's visibility.

In the event that a profile continues to violate disinformation policies, the social network could penalize it in the recommendations or temporarily block it as occurs with its strike system.

It is worth mentioning that the crisis disinformation policy is applied under certain criteria. Tweets will break the rules if they state a misleading fact that could put public safety at risk. To determine their falsity, Twitter will rely on widely available authoritative sources.

To which tweets does the new disinformation policy apply?

The policy is focused on the international armed conflict and will begin to be applied in the war in Ukraine with misleading information that could trigger one of the following events:

– Serve as a pretext for new aggressions by armed actors, belligerents or combatants,

– Trigger the forced or anticipated displacement of vulnerable populations, or generate greater humanitarian needs,

– Negatively affect the ability of humanitarian protection, human rights or relief organizations to provide assistance or access affected populations.

– Incite the selection or surveillance of groups that can be identified based on their political, religious, ethnic or ideological affiliation or belonging, or organizations and actors protected by international humanitarian law;

– Interrupt possible ceasefire agreements, peacekeeping operations or diplomatic solutions to conflicts or insecurity, among other issues.

The policy does not apply to legitimate comments, opinions or questions about a conflict. Neither do news reports, third-party content analysis (refuting its authenticity), or personal anecdotes. The truth is that in these cases the Twitter rules will apply

Twitter announced that it will update and expand its disinformation policy to apply to additional forms of crisis. In the future it will be used in health emergencies and large-scale natural disasters.