- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Twitter is enforcing a new policy for the 2022 midterm elections designed to restrict the spread of information that the social media platform deems misleading or harmful, signaling more censorship of online political speech.

The company said Thursday it has started enforcing a “Civic Integrity Policy” for the 2022 midterms that would cover things such as how to vote, content intended to dissuade people from voting, and “misleading claims” either about election outcomes or that undermine people’s confidence in elections.

“Tweets with this content may be labeled with links to credible information or helpful context, and Twitter will not recommend or amplify this content in areas of the product where Twitter makes recommendations,” the company said on its blog.

“People on Twitter will see a prompt prior to liking or sharing labeled tweets, and in cases where there is potential for harm associated with the false or misleading claim, the Tweet may not be liked or shared to prevent the spread of the misleading information,” the social-media giant said.

Twitter revealed several “product updates” that it said would empower voters, including an explore tab dedicated to the coming elections, “prebunks,” and state-specific webpages.

“Prebunks” refer to Twitter‘s method for debunking election-related information the company dislikes before the information spreads.

“We’re also bringing back prebunks — in English, Spanish, and all other languages supported on Twitter — to get ahead of misleading narratives on Twitter, and to proactively address topics that may be the subject of misinformation,” Twitter said.

“Over the coming months, we’ll place prompts directly on people’s timelines in the U.S. and in Search when people type related terms, phrases, or hashtags,” the company added.

When users visit the “explore” section to view trending topics and Twitter recommendations, they will see a tab labeled U.S. elections. This tab will recommend national news content in English and Spanish from accounts that Twitter decides are “reputable news outlets, curated by Twitter‘s Curation team.”

The state-specific pages are localized sites of information set to be rolled out alongside primaries happening across the country and will display information from select journalists, local news outlets, and state election officials.

While Twitter is gearing up for a political speech crackdown, Meta appears to be taking a different approach in 2022.

Facebook and Instagram’s parent company has quietly curtailed some safeguards designed to stymie voting misinformation and foreign interference in U.S. elections, according to the Associated Press.

An example of this shift includes that Meta’s CrowdTangle tool for identifying trending posts and misinformation on Facebook and Instagram has become inoperable on various days.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.