Twitter is preparing to roll out more ways it intends to censor and "label" speech. The company is also experimenting with giving only blue checkmark "verified" fact-checkers and journalists the power to identify "lies" and label and edit accordingly. What could possibly go wrong?
"Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features" obtained by NBC, which first broke the story Thursday.
"We're exploring a number of ways to address misinformation and provide more context for tweets on Twitter," a Twitter spokesperson said. "Misinformation is a critical issue and we will be testing many different ways to address it."
Get ready for a potential new Twitter where essentially all utterances and perspectives on controversial events and data will have to pass through blue checkmark gatekeepers.
This is an astounding and Orwellian section from the NBC report:
In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures would be corrected directly beneath a tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform and possibly by other users who would participate in a new "community reports" feature, which the demo claims is "like Wikipedia."
Here's what it might look like when a politician tweets "harmfully misleading" content after March 5th. Big red/orange flag underneath the offending tweet.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) February 20, 2020
These are screenshots from that were left on a public testing site. Twitter confirmed they're possible iterations. pic.twitter.com/EH61YDGjOg
Tweets marked as 'disinformation' could then be reduced in visibility on the platform.
The company said it is only in the early stages of research and work with the demo, and there's as yet no confirmation of exactly what will be included in the new roll out, expected on March 5th.
An image capture of the leaked demo which illustrates how it works, via NBC. Verified community members can flag tweets by public figures or other accounts as "Harmfully Misleading".
Perhaps even more disturbing is that one experimental version of the feature sets up moderating and labeling false information as if it's a competition among accepted "community members".
The "harmfully misleading" tag wouldn't just be for politicians. It'd be for climate change denial and health misinformation, too, at least according to this test.https://t.co/Yhyv45WFjG pic.twitter.com/GwbgIojK27— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) February 20, 2020
The NBC report explains:
In one iteration of the demo, Twitter users could earn "points" and a "community badge" if they "contribute in good faith and act like a good neighbor" and "provide critical context to help people understand information they see."
Supposedly this is to prevent trolls or "ideologues" from inundating the platform as moderators.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media giants have been under increased pressure to curtail misleading political information, but no doubt as the above demonstrates the "solution" will only result in severe censorship and a purge of 'unacceptable opinions' by establishment gatekeepers — something Twitter has certainly already long been engaged in, as we've recently experienced.
Groupthink will now be programmed permanently into the platform's architecture.