Twitter users in the Philippines can now report a tweet containing misleading information by clicking on the three dots found at the upper right-hand corner, and then choosing “Report Tweet” and “It’s misleading” in the options.
The feature rolled out in the Philippines, Brazil, and Spain on Jan. 17. The countries were selected because of geographical diversity, and also because the upcoming elections in the Philippines and Brazil could further test the usefulness of the feature during civic events.
The reporting feature was first made available in the US, South Korea, and Australia in Aug. 2021 to examine if the tool was effective for the Twitter community to report misinformation in real time.
“The learnings garnered through the test was used to inform our efforts to potentially roll out a misinformation reporting feature more broadly. They also helped us better understand and identify misinformation trends and emerging narratives on Twitter,” according to a Twitter spokesperson in an e-mail.
The company added that it has a specially trained team that reviews each report — including those in Filipino — against the Twitter Rules and Terms of Service.
Over half of the violative content in the platform (such as COVID-19 misinformation, civic integrity, and synthetic and manipulated media) are surfaced by its automated systems. The rest are surfaced through its internal teams, and through work with trusted partners.
Since the 2021 launch of the reporting feature, Twitter has received 3.73 million reports of 1.95 million distinct tweets authored by 64 thousand distinct accounts.
A lot of the 3.73 million reports were “off-topic,” Twitter found, resulting in a low-violation rate of less than 10%. It also found that the reporting feature gave a sense of empowerment to users — most of whom would rather report a potentially misleading tweet than quote or reply to it.
The findings have revealed the company’s need to continue optimizing how it filters and prioritizes reports before it rolls out the option to everyone. It also revealed the value of the reports as a source of intelligence on emerging trends and narratives.
According to Twitter, it hopes the learnings gathered from the test of its reporting feature will help it “ultimately advance our ability to mitigate misleading content, as well as help protect civic integrity during the upcoming elections this year in the Philippines.” — Patricia B. Mirasol