It seems like Twitter may be following Facebook’s lead when it comes to fake news.
According to reports, the social media site is working on a new tool to help fight the spread of misleading, harmful, or downright fake news. The feature would let users flag certain tweets that are spreading false information.
This is a little different from Facebook’s fake news campaign, which included user education, a “disputed” tag, and the removal of financial incentives for users spreading misinformation. On Facebook at least, there was no way for users to actually report misinformation on their own. Of course, the tool is still in the very early stages, so there’s a great chance it will never be released. But it’s still nice to see Twitter tackling the issue head on.
That’s not Twitter’s only weapon against fake news, though, as they’re also incorporating AI machine learning to scan tweets for spam-like patterns.
User policing though, isn’t entirely new territory for Twitter. The company has worked for years to build a reporting system for online abuse and harassment, but it’s been met with mixed reviews.
On their end, Twitter denies they’re actually working on anything like this. A spokesperson told Business Insider they have “no current plans to launch anything along the lines described.” Of course, these things do tend to change quickly. So if they’re not working on it now, they could be in the very near future.
Predictably, users aren’t too excited about the addition, with many people pointing out the relentless abuse of the button that would happen. Should the button ever arrive on Twitter, there aren’t any details about what would happen after a report. Would it take a certain number of reports to have a Tweet reviewed by an outside source, or would so many reports automatically hide a Tweet?