Twitter in India has now started tagging posts comprising ‘Manipulated Media’ as well. Twitter had announced it back in February 2020 that it would start tagging posts and would start labelling tweets containing ‘Manipulated Media’. Followed by the series of steps taken by the micro-blogging site Twitter to combat misinformation and ‘fake News’ on the portal, this turned out to be the most significant step taken by the Twitter.
Twitter in the light of US elections has started labelling tweets spreading misinformation or disputed claims or fake news or propaganda oriented media reports posted on Twitter as ‘Manipulated Media’.
We placed a warning on a Tweet from @realDonaldTrump for making a potentially misleading claim about an election. This action is in line with our Civic Integrity Policy. More here: https://t.co/k6OkjNXEAm
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) November 4, 2020
One of the most bizzare result of Twitter labelling posts and tweets was that US President Donald Trump’s almost all tweets on his personal account were labelled as “Manipulated” and being called out for misinformation. During the times of US Presidential Elections, Twitter had said it in a blogspot that it will, “label tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and will remove tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with election results or the smooth operation of polling places.” (Source: Twitter)
For elections to be called, it would definitely require an “official announcement from state election officials, or a public projection from at least two authoritative, the national news outlets that makes up an independent election calls.” However, as long as we know these rules were applied only on the US elections, Twitter would extend it to Indian elections as well in the future labelling tweets were not known or expected.
Twitter’s Warning On The Manipulated Media Means..
So, Twitter labels at the bottom of the posts or tweets (video or image) if it thinks contains contagious or manipulated content. If you want to know what that means, you can click on it which will lead you to read its definition.
Twitter warning reads: “You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand the media’s authenticity and to provide additional context.”
What is manipulated media? How does Twitter decide what is manipulated?
Twitter has already explained it in a February blog post that how it decides whether an image has been “deceptively altered or fabricated”. The factors to be considered are:
- Firstly, if the content has been changed substantially or edited in a manipulated manner or altered fundamentally its composition, sequence, timing or framing.
- Secondly, Twitter checks if any auditory or visual information (such as new video frames, overdubbed audio, or modified subtitles) that can be added or removed.
- Third, whether a media depicting a real person has been fabricated or simulated.
- Twitter also stated that there’ll be no issues in accepting the media the way it is but the user should keep in mind that if media posted on the Twitter causes “confusion or misunderstanding or suggests a deliberate intent to deceive people about the nature or origin of the content”, it’ll be removed.
- Twitter also clarified that if any media which is fake or manipulated claims to be real it’ll be labelled too. Twitter will also take care of the text within the media, metadata associated with the media, information provided on the profile of the person sharing the media, websites linked in the profile of the person sharing the media or tweet sharing the media before adding the label.
So Does It Removed The Label? Or Remove the Manipulated Media?
Tweets that have “synthetic and manipulated media are subject to removal under this policy if they are likely to cause harm”, according to the Twitter will be removed. So the possible harms includes: physical safety threat to any person or a group, risk comprising mass violence or widespread civil unrest and threat to privacy or person or group’s ability to express themselves or participate in civic activities.
What Twitter Will Do After Removing Or Labelling?
After tagging the ‘Manipulated Media’ posts or tweets, Twitter will also provide warning to the users all over the world before retweeting or like the tweet. It’ll also reduce it’s visibility and recommendations over the micro-blogging site.
Steps Taken At The Time Of US Presidential Elections..
- Twitter labelled all tweets which had already declared the results of US Presidential Elections and users going through these pages were redirected to the official page of US Presidential Elections.
- Twitter stated that if users trued to retweet those tweets containing misleading information then, they would see “prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic before they are able to amplify it.”
- Labeled tweets were de-amplified.
- Twitter also said, add additional warnings and restrictions on tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts), US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or that obtain significant engagement.”