While Facebook may have gotten most of the heat in the great Fake News Panic of the 2010s, Twitter is used just as often to spread exaggerated or straight-up wrong stories. To combat this, several sources close to the project told the Washington Post the company is testing a feature that would let users flag tweets containing “misleading, false or harmful information.” The feature is reportedly in prototype phase, though a Twitter spokesperson told Select All, “nothing along these lines is being tested and we have no current plans to release anything of the sort.”
Facebook rolled out a similar feature at the end of 2016. The company teamed up with Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network, including Snopes and ABC News, to determine which stories were real and which were bogus. The ones in the latter category were to be marked with a “disputed” label. (“Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed,” Facebook also said in a release at the time.) A good idea in theory, though Facebook’s feature hasn’t made a widespread appearance across timelines yet. Which is probably for the best, since that’s just an invitation for people to abuse it by reporting stories about real news — global warming is happening, people — as “fake.” Twitter, if you’re reading this, I’ve got no better suggestions at present, but skipping the flagging feature is probably a good idea for the moment. It doesn’t seem to have done much for Facebook.