Twitter to work with Reuters, AP to explain disputed topics before misinformation spreads
In an effort to curb misinformation on the platform, Twitter is joining hands with news agencies like Associated Press (AP) and Reuters. As the micro-blogging platform announced, their internal teams are already working to explain and add context to Twitter content, but additionally, these two news agencies will help provide more “authoritative information” when “facts are in dispute”. Also, Twitter has said that it wants to be more proactive about providing accurate information on topics as they develop before misinformation starts emerging. “Rather than waiting until something goes viral, Twitter will contextualize developing discourse at pace with or in anticipation of the public conversation,” Twitter said. Reuters and Associated Press will also be providing feedback on fact-checking provided via Twitter’s crowd-sourced Birdwatch program, which is currently in its pilot phase.
This collaboration with news agencies is an expansion of Twitter’s ongoing attempts to stopping misinformation from spreading on its platform. Twitter’s Curation team already adds explanatory content on trending topics and misleading tweets and is also going to “surface authoritative information when users search for specific terms or during major events like elections or public health emergencies”. As Twitter says, this new collaboration will help when the platform’s Curation team will not have specific expertise or access to enough reputable reporting on Twitter to supply facts.
This is the first time Twitter is formally collaborating with news agencies to provide accurate information on the platform. AP and Reuters already work with Facebook on fact-checking content on that platform. As Twitter added, this collaboration with the two news agencies is going to be separate from the work that is being done by their own enforcement teams and neither news agency will get to device whether any tweet has broken Twitter’s rules or not.
This collaboration comes in at a point when social media platforms are facing tough scrutiny from regulators for the misinformation on the sites and this issue became particularly problematic during the Covid-19 pandemic with misinformation about the virus and vaccines spreading online.