‘Manipulated media’: How Twitter plans to crackdown on harmful misleading tweets?
The social media platform used its new "manipulated media" label for the first time on an edited video clip of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that was posted by a White House official and retweeted by President Donald Trump.
Twitter Inc on Sunday used its new "manipulated media" label for the first time on an edited video clip of former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that was posted by a White House official and retweeted by President Donald Trump. The micro blogging platform’s new policy, which went into effect last week, defines manipulated posts as any photo, video or audio that has been “significantly altered or fabricated.”
The Biden video, which was posted on Saturday by White House social media director Dan Scavino, showed the former Vice President stumbling on a speech in Kansas City, Missouri in which he said the words "Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump."
Biden's full sentence, which was cut off by the clip, was "Excuse me. We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It's gotta be a positive campaign so join us."
Twitter's "manipulated media" policy, explained
As part of Twitter’s new policy, “harmfully misleading” tweets would have red or orange labels applied, and include corrected information from fact-checkers, journalists, and other users in “one possible iteration” of a Wikipedia-like anti-misinformation effort. The company will remove the media if it is found likely to “cause serious harm,” and, regardless, at least label tweets as erroneous or doctored. In some cases, Twitter will also offer additional context about the video.
The policy coincides with a recent rise of doctored videos of politicians: There was the edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, making her seem as though she was drunkenly slurring words. And there was a different Biden clip edited to suggest he made a racist comment.
However, Twitter's new label was not showing for all users. The tag was applied on Sunday afternoon, but Twitter said it was not showing when people searched for the tweet or clicked into it, only when it was seen in timelines. A Twitter spokesman said the company was working on a fix.
Just in: Twitter applied its new manipulated media label for the first time to a deceptively edited video of Joe Biden. It was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, and retweeted by the president. pic.twitter.com/PggcCwMNkx— Cat Zakrzewski (@Cat_Zakrzewski) March 8, 2020
This comes as social media companies are under pressure to police misleading or false information on their platforms ahead of the US presidential election in November, in which Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders are vying to be the Democratic nominee to oust Republican President Trump.
The edited Biden video was also posted on Scavino's Facebook page, where it had over a million views. The Biden campaign slammed Facebook for showing the video on its platforms without labels.
"Facebook won't say it, but it is apparent to all who have examined their conduct and policies: they care first and foremost about money and, to that end, are willing to serve as one of the world's most effective mediums for the spread of vile lies," said Greg Schultz, Biden's campaign manager.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Twitter has put other tools into place in order to help users decide what information on its platform is inaccurate.
In May last year, it announced a tool that could tamp down anti-vaccination information by redirecting users to vaccines.org, a site run by the Health and Human Services Department. And last week, Twitter announced it was expanding its election integrity policy, which prohibits users from sharing “false or misleading information about how to participate in an election or other civic event” by redirecting users to Census.gov when they search for certain keywords associated with the 2020 US census.
How the manipulated media policy works on Twitter?
According to the micro-blogging site, if it believes that media shared in a tweet has been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, then the platform will provide additional context on the tweet. This means Twitter may:
-- Apply a label to the Tweet
-- Show a warning to people before they retweet or like the tweet
-- Reduce the visibility of the tweet on Twitter and/or prevent it from being recommended; and/or
-- Provide additional explanations or clarifications, as available, such as a landing page with more context.
In most cases, Twitter said it will take all of the above actions on tweets it labels.