- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2020

Twitter is considering launching a new feature that would visually flag tweets deemed by its users to contain erroneous or misleading claims, the company confirmed Thursday.

A leaked demo of the feature discovered online by NBC News showed brightly colored labels appearing directly below dubious tweets posted by politicians and other public figures.

Twitter confirmed the feature is being considered as a means of combating the spread of misinformation but has not decided if or when it will be implemented, NBC News reported.

“We’re exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson told the outlet. “Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it.”

The demo version was found on a publicly accessible website and shows colorful red and orange badges appearing below tweets deemed to be “harmfully misleading,” NBC News reported.

“Twitter Community reports have identified this tweet as violating the Community Policy on Harmfully Misleading Information. This tweet’s visibility will be reduced,” the badges read.

A spokesperson for the social media platform indicated the potential feature would involve Twitter users flagging tweets that would then be considered for bearing the badge.

“This is a design mock-up for one option that would involve community feedback,” the spokesperson said, NBC News reported.

Social media companies have regularly faced criticism for allowing misinformation to flourish on their platforms, particularly after Russian-based accounts spread politically charged propaganda and misinformation on services including Twitter and Facebook during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.

More recently, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president, said last month that her administration would seek to criminalize online disinformation intended to suppress voter turnout.

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