Twitter imposes new limits on political figures before US polls


(IANS) As the US presidential election inches closer, Twitter on Friday said it will add additional warnings and restrictions on tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts), US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or that obtain significant engagement.

Twitter said that people must tap through a warning to see these Tweets, and then will only be able to Quote Tweet; likes, Retweets and replies will be turned off, and these Tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter.

Vijaya Gadde, Legal, Policy and Trust & Safety Lead at Twitter, said that the company will label tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and will remove tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with election results or the smooth operation of polling places.

People on Twitter, including candidates for office, may not claim an election win before it is authoritatively called.

“To determine the results of an election in the US, we require either an announcement from state election officials, or a public projection from at least two authoritative, national news outlets that make independent election calls,” she explained.

Tweets which include premature claims will be labeled and direct people to our official US election page.

“Tweets meant to incite interference with the election process or with the implementation of election results, such as through violent action, will be subject to removal. This covers all Congressional races and the Presidential Election,” added Kayvon Beykpour, Product Lead, Twitter and Co-Founder, Periscope.

Starting next week, when people attempt to retweet tweets with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic before they are able to amplify it.

“First, we will encourage people to add their own commentary prior to amplifying content by prompting them to Quote Tweet instead of Retweet”.

People who go to Retweet will be brought to the Quote Tweet composer where they’ll be encouraged to comment before sending their Tweet.

“Second, we will prevent ‘liked by’ and ‘followed by’ recommendations from people you don’t follow from showing up in your timeline and won’t send notifications for these Tweets,” Gadde noted.

Finally, Twitter will only surface Trends in the “For You” tab in the US that include additional context.

“That means there will be a description Tweet or article that represents or summarizes why that term is trending,” Beykpour informed.

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