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Twitter bolsters efforts to block misleading information as election looms

The move comes after the social media firm announced a ban on political adverts.

(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

Twitter has said information about voting will face tougher scrutiny on its platform in the lead-up to the General Election.

In its latest attempt to protect election integrity, the social media firm is launching a new tool on Tuesday that enables people to report deliberately misleading details about the voting process – weeks after announcing a ban on political adverts.

It will be keeping a closer eye on misinformation on how to vote – such as false suggestions the public can vote via text message or email – as well as deceptive instructions on what people need to be able to vote and misleading statements or information about the election date or time.

Twitter is widely used by candidates and political parties, with social media acting as a key battleground to connect with voters ahead of polling day on December 12 – but it comes amid ongoing concern about the spread of fake news and abuse.

Our UK team is also offering safety and security training to all political parties and candidates, where we will walk them through tools such as mute, block and report, and various security tips and techniques such as two-factor authentication Twitter

The new tool will run for seven days after the election, the company added.

“We’ll be working hard to support and protect the #GE19 conversation while bringing voters the best of real-time, reliable and relevant information on this critical election,” it wrote in a blog post.

“Our UK team is also offering safety and security training to all political parties and candidates, where we will walk them through tools such as mute, block and report, and various security tips and techniques such as two-factor authentication.”

The tool goes into action ahead of Twitter’s planned political ad ban, which will not come into force until November 22.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey announced the ban late last month, saying “while internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics, where it can be used to influence votes to affect the lives of millions”.

The decision has put pressure on rival social network Facebook to follow suit after a number of mislabelled ads were taken down from the platform.

PA

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