Ahead of the US elections, Twitter has decided to make changes to some of its functionality to curb the spread of misinformation. If you are an influencer or a social media manager, here are the top 5 changes to the Twitter algorithm that you should be aware of.
Today I woke up to these tweets on my timeline. The retweet button does not work the way it is supposed to work. I checked it myself and strangely enough it was working for me as usual.
But a couple of hours later I could see that when I click on Retweet, it presented me with the Quote Tweet composer.
After some research I found out that, it is not just the retweet flow that is affected, there are also changes to How the tweets are recommended to the “For You” Tab on the Trends section. After some more research I found out that it is a calculated move by Twitter to stop the spread of misinformation keeping the US elections in mind. Let’s look at the changes in a bit more detail.
1. Warnings And Prompts On Misleading Tweets That Are Labelled
To curb the spread of misinformation on Civic integrity , COVID and a few other topics, twitter currently labels such tweets. Going forward, if you attempt to retweet such labelled tweets, you will be presented with a credible information, so you can make a calculated decision before retweeting.
2. Labelled Tweets Will Not Make it To the Twitter Recommendation System
Twitter often recommends you, tweets based on your interest, your recent activity, etc.. This is achieved by the Twitter recommendation system for you to have a great experience on the platform.
Globally till US elections are over Twitter will prevent “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people you don’t follow from showing up in your timeline and you won’t see notifications for these Tweets either. This will prevent the spread of false information significantly.
3. Additional restrictions on big influencers
Big influencers such as US political figures, US-based accounts with more than 100,000 or accounts who receive high engagement on their tweets may experience some additional restrictions to their tweets if they are labelled by Twitter, such as:
- People must tap through warnings to see the tweets
- Likes, replies and retweets will be turned off
And as mentioned above these tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter.
4. Users Will be prompted the Quote Tweet composer when they click On Retweet
Users all over the globe will be prompted the Quote Tweet composer even when they click on Retweet. This extra friction is added to cause people to think before retweeting. This quote tweet composer encourages people to add their own commentary before retweeting. Thus making them more responsible for their actions.
Note 1: If you choose not to add any commentary, it will be treated like a normal retweet.
Note 2: Most likely after the elections are over, the normal behaviour of retweet flow will be restored.
5. Trends Tab to Show Only the Trends That include a Context
Trends are a great way to get involved in high volume conversions. They help create mass movements.
But at the same time they also spread misinformation quicker than wildfire.
Till the elections are over, in the US, “For You” tab will show case only the trends that include an additional context. This change will make sure that only trends with an added context are shown, further reducing the spread of false information.
You can read the official Twitter blog Additional steps we’re taking ahead of the 2020 US Election for more details.
In my personal opinion, I feel this is a right move by Twitter. What do you think? I would love know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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