Twitter Is Experimenting With a Button to Flag ‘Fake News’

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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Twitter Is Experimenting With a Button to Flag ‘Fake News’