Twitter has published a blog post detailing the social network’s response to disinformation about the coronavirus, including a new search tool that directs Canadians to official, credible information.
To start, Twitter notes that in the past four weeks, it has seen over 15 million tweets on the topic. Twitter says it hasn’t seen significant coordinated attempts to spread disinformation at scale about the issue but promises to keep a lookout. Further, the social network says it has invested in its proactive abilities to ensure trends, search and other common areas of the service are protected from malicious behaviour.
Additionally, Twitter promises to continue removing users who engage in malicious practices from its service.
However, the preventative measure that most users will experience is a pinned message in the app’s search function. Twitter partnered with Canada, as well as Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.S. and Vietnam. In those places, when someone searches for coronavirus — or things associated with coronavirus — they’ll see a pinned message linking back to the official health agency for that country.
For Canadians, Twitter will pin a message at the top of search results that provides access to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s information about the coronavirus. That pinned message links directly to this Government of Canada webpage about the virus.
On top of that, Twitter will halt any auto-suggest results that are likely to direct users to non-credible content on Twitter.
The blog post also details how Twitter’s Global Public Policy team is looking for ways to integrate organizations involved in the effort to contain coronavirus, such as experts, NGOs and governments.
Ultimately, it’s a helpful addition to the social network that will hopefully direct users to more credible sources of information about coronavirus and prevent the spread of disinformation about the virus.