Social media platforms have the power to turn fiction into facts.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and several other platforms function as a powerful distributing machine for data. Thus, with great power comes great responsibility, and Twitter is staking a step further to ensure its power is in the right hands.
In a blog post, the micro-blogging platform officially announced its collaboration with two rival news agencies, Reuters and the Associated Press, to debunk misinformation on its site.
With the aim of putting an end to the spread of misinformation, the news agencies will support Twitter by providing factual and accurate information on tweets that encompass high levels of engagement.
“Rather than waiting until something goes viral, Twitter will contextualize developing discourse at pace with or in anticipation of the public conversation,” Twitter explained.
Countering misleading information won’t be as difficult anymore, as Twitter’s curation team will find and publish accurate statements from reliable sources (Reuters and AP) whenever a controversial conversation takes place.
Focusing initially on tweets written in the English language, the new program will “increase the scale and speed” of fact-checking by ensuring the “capacity to add reliable context to conversations happening on Twitter,” according to Twitter.
The social media platform previously launched Birdwatch, a community-moderation system which provided users with the ability to label tweets they found to be misleading.
However, collaborating with Reuters and AP marks the first time Twitter works with news agencies to promote accurate information on its site.
Hazel Baker, head of user-generated content newsgathering at Reuters, said that the news agency works on building trust, accuracy, and impartiality as ending the spread of misinformation is their driving factor.
While AP’s vice president of global business development, Tom Januszewski, boasted about the “long history working closely with Twitter, along with other platforms, to expand the reach of factual journalism.”
“We are particularly excited about leveraging AP’s scale and speed to add context to online conversations, which can benefit from easy access to the facts,” Januszewski added.
The two news agencies also work closely with Facebook on counteracting misinformation.