According to a recent report by The Washington Post, Twitter could soon be coming up with a feature that will help users detect and report false, misleading or irrelevant tweets – fake news being the primary target. This feature, which is still in a sort of prototype phase and may or may not be released, is part of the company’s continuing fight against users abusing its platform. Twitter is still in researching how to design and implement the feature to be a great success.
Typically, the company practice is to first release to its employees before rolling out to the public. Twitter spokesperson Emily Horne has made a statement saying that there “are no current plans to launch any type of product”. Horne concluded that she would not comment on a feature if it is in testing phase.
According to a few people who spoke about this feature, it could be placed in the drop-down menu alongside tweets; however, they were not able to provide verifiable information, as it is still in proto stage.
Twitter has been contaminated by fake accounts as it costs only a few pennies to circulate automated false stories and spam news.
The biggest concern is, because Twitter has more than 300 million users, any news posts spreads like wildfire before Twitter can descry the news type. Such posts with enough traction make it harder to detect the source of the information. Per a Twitter audit, it was found that 59 percent of the U.S. President’s followers are fake accounts.
Twitter is also focusing on machine learning, or artificial intelligence software which will alert the company to adjudicate fake accounts. For example: if there are repetitive messages from the same IP address, the software will send a signal as a caution.
Other social networking giants like Facebook and Google are already taking steps to handle fake bots and the more specific problem of fake news.
Twitter’s VP of Public Policy, Government & Philanthropy, Colin Crowell, said that the team is working hard, expanding and by bringing in new tools to tackle bots. The company also empowers users to help stop the spread of bogus content and fake news.