On Friday, Twitter users noticed that the platform was marking tweets mentioning “5G” or “oxygen” with a warning about COVID-19 misinformation.
Mislabeling tweets that link 5G and COVID-19 could help to “raise the profile” of the popular conspiracy theory that the cellular technology caused the coronavirus outbreak, according to social media researcher Wasim Ahmed.
In a statement to Business Insider, Twitter said it had make a mistake and was working to “improve” its labeling process. It blamed the error on the algorithm it has been using to prioritize the immediate labelling of 5G-related tweets.
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Twitter has admitted it mistakenly slapped a coronavirus misinformation warning on some tweets mentioning 5G technology, but experts say the error could have far-reaching implications in social networks’ struggle to battle COVID-related conspiracy theories.
Several Twitter users pointed out Friday that the platform was marking tweets mentioning “5G” and “oxygen” — including some that used these terms in jest — with a label indicating their posts contain misinformation regarding COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. Twitter, in a statement to Business Insider later that afternoon, said that it had made a mistake by labeling “unrelated” posts, and attributed the error to the algorithm it’s using to identify tweets containing coronavirus-related misinformation.
In the last few weeks, you may have seen Tweets with labels linking to additional info about COVID-19. 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 labeling process. (1/4)
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 26, 2020
Nonetheless, the labels suggesting users “get the facts about COVID-19” still appear on the tweets in question as of Monday afternoon. Clicking on the warning label brings users to a Twitter Moment about the particularly widespread conspiracy …read more
Source:: Business Insider