Twitter has taken a proactive approach to the war on false and misleading tweets. They announced the roll-out of more effective and less confusing warning labels. The aim is to clarify exactly why users should ignore such tweets.
Twitter initially used warning labels to warn users of falsehoods before and after the U.S.’s 2020 presidential contest. However, this led to criticisms against the social media giant. This was because their original labels failed to tackle the problem of false news and misinformation in a meaningful manner. Taking the criticism on board, Twitter announced the worldwide redesign of their labels earlier this week. They believe this update will make them more dynamic, noticeable, and effective.
At present, Twitter uses labels for three distinctive types of misinformation or ‘manipulated media.’ This can refer to videos and audios that have been doctored to cause significant harm in the real world. It can also refer to election and voting-related misinformation and false news or misleading tweets surrounding COVID-19.
ABC News reports that Twitter has been testing the labels since July. They revealed that the new designs rely heavily on the colors red and orange to help them stand out more. It changed from the previous blue version, which was easily absorbed by Twitter’s color scheme. However, while these bold colors can catch the eye, Twitter was wary of making their new warning labels too dynamic. Wary because research shows that it could lead to more people replying to and retweeting the offending tweet.
Twitter explained that the redesigned labels demonstrated nearly a 20 percent increase in “click-through-rate.” Also, more social media users were attracted by the color alone. This promoted their clicking on the label to read why the tweet was misleading or contained false information. Evidence shows that misleading tweets that contained the orange icon and the words “stay informed” were not as retweeted as tweets containing the original labels.
In a separate category, Twitter will attach a label that points out a tweet is ‘misleading’ and add a stark, red exclamation point. They regard these tweets as the most dangerous tweets containing serious misinformation, such as a tweet trying to claim that vaccines cause autism. It will not be possible to reply, like, or retweet a tweet containing this label.