Twitter will fight misinformation in US midterms with notification changes

Twitter is revitalizing and improving its election misinformation strategy ahead of the 2022 US midterm elections. The social network has reactivated enforcing its Civic Integrity Policy in preparation for voting, and there are a handful of upgrades this year. First, it avoids recommending misleading tweets through notifications – untruths may not spread as much as in the past. The company is considering this approach for “other surfaces” as well.

You should also see redesigned fact check labels that better encourage people to read. Twitter first tested these labels in late 2021.

Other endeavors will be more familiar. You’re already seeing candidate labels for any hopeful governor, House of Representatives, or Senate who qualified for the general election. You can expect “prebunks” to counter false claims before they become hot topics. Within Explore you’ll find a dedicated US elections tab as well as state-specific nodes. Twitter also plans to bolster protections for candidates, with “more sophisticated” detection of suspicious activity, as well as more login protection and faster worst-case account recovery.

These aren’t dramatic changes in Twitter’s methods from previous elections, including those outside the US. However, it’s clear that the company is bracing for trouble given the fallout of 2020. The question is whether this will be enough or not. Critics warned of flaws in social media companies’ efforts to combat misinformation during the last election, and adjustments to recommendations and labels aren’t guaranteed to fix those problems.

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