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Twitter and Google hone misinformation tools ahead of US election

Twitter and Google hone misinformation tools ahead of US election

Google and Twitter are to ratchet up efforts to snuff out misinformation ahead of the US elections in November.

The tech giants are under pressure to head off an expected surge in false claims and misleading posts designed to sway voters, with both keen to get on the front foot to head off any potential backlash.

What additional steps are Twitter and Google taking?

  • Twitter will label or remove all tweets identified as being misleading such as premature claims of victory, unverified vote-rigging allegations and calls to break the law

  • The platform has also pledged to act against the suppression of votes in the stricter rules, which are to be "applied equally and judiciously for everyone".

  • The new Twitter policy is international in scope and will take effect from 17 September.

  • For its part, Google will remove automated predictive search terms for people looking for voting information or related searches around the integrity of the election or claims about parties and candidates.

  • False information will also be scrubbed from search results and its ad policy will be robustly policed against false claims designed to undermine trust and participation.

  • Twitter will also decline additional political ads from 22 November.

Why does it matter?

  • Social media providers face intense scrutiny amid fears a delay in results could exacerbate the spread of misinformation.

  • The campaign got off to a bad start with US president Donald Trump making unsupported claims that postal voting is susceptible to fraud.

  • Twitter banned all political advertising at the end of 2019 as a result of the changing climate.

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