Twitter is fighting the good fight – or at least that seems to be what’s happening with their soon-to-launch labels. The company is looking into separating misinformation from the truth even more clearly, by putting their algorithms to dig and label tweets.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who recently spotted the app’s new service to “unsend tweets”, discovered the social platform’s intention to label the content published there.
The label system changes progressively, starting with a neutral “Get the latest” label, followed by a feeling of urgency with “Stay informed” and ending with a negative “Misleading” label. Wong explained the system in detail through a demo she made:
The warning messages associated with each label are obviously created by Wong for the sake of the exercise. In any case, it’s not hard to imagine Twitter redirecting users’ attention to external sources when the algorithm finds the right opportunity.
When this gets implemented, will users’ be able to rely on the labels 100%? Given the fact that Twitter’s bots have been wrong before, I’d say maybe.
And, we have to consider that inadequate labeling can easily lean into censorship. After all, even if this labeling is done for the sake of the community (as Twitter has done before by banning dehumanizing tweets), the community might end up suffering in the end. It’s not hard to imagine users getting banned for posting sarcastic (and therefore probably untrue) messages after all, is it?