Over the past month or so, Twitter has ramped up its efforts to stop the spread of disputed and potentially misleading claims on the internet. A couple of weeks ago, it outlined how it was doing this by labeling certain tweets as disputed and disabling engagement mechanisms such as retweets for problematic claims to curb the spread of fake news related to the U.S. presidential elections. Now, the company is also showing warnings if you try to 'like' disputed tweets.
Twitter explained this change in a tweet from its official support account stating that based on its success in stopping the spread of misleading news by encouraging quote tweets instead of retweets, it is going a step further and will now prompt users before they 'like' a disputed tweet as well. The company said:
Giving context on why a labeled Tweet is misleading under our election, COVID-19, and synthetic and manipulated media rules is vital. These prompts helped decrease Quote Tweets of misleading information by 29% so we're expanding them to show when you tap to like a labeled Tweet.
This change is currently visible on the website and does not appear to have been rolled out to mobile apps on our end at the time of this writing, although that should follow shortly too.
The new prompt now displays a warning before you like a tweet and encourages users to visit what it considers official news sources on disputed claims. Users can still like the tweet by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the prompt again, but it will show up every time you react to any disputed tweet. It remains to be seen whether this move deters the public from spreading disputed claims and the ensuing fake news.