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Twitter Flags Tweets Unrelated to 5G or COVID-19 as Misleading

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Twitter has confirmed that a number of tweets – unrelated to conspiracy theories surrounding COVID-19 and 5G – were flagged as misinformation. And now the social media platform says that it will do more to improve how it labels content.

“In the last few weeks, you may have seen Tweets with labels linking to additional info about COVID-19,” tweeted Twitter Support. “Not all of those Tweets had potentially misleading content associating COVID-19 and 5G. We apologize for any confusion and we’re working to improve our labelling process.”

According to The Verge, the company began fact-checking tweets that linked 5G and the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, by adding the label that reads “get the facts about COVID-19” which links to a Twitter moment with “No, 5G isn’t causing coronavirus” as its title.

At the time, a Twitter spokesperson said, “we’re prioritising the removal of COVID-19 content when it has a call to action that could potentially cause harm.”

However, it would seem that the company perhaps too eager in its attempt to monitor content as tweets including the words “oxygen” and “frequency” were being tagged with the fact-check label.

“Labelling Tweets that may contain misleading information continues to be an iterative process,” says a Facebook spokesperson. “Given the global spread of misinformation and disputed claims around 5G and COVID-19, we prioritized algorithmically labelling Tweets with that information. As we improve this process to be more precise, our goal is to show fewer labels on unrelated Tweets.”

Edited by Jenna Delport
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