TWITTER PLAYS MISINFORMATION WHACK-A-MOLE and finds that its rollout of a feature that slaps warning labels on posts with misleadingly altered media may need some fine-tuning. Twitter began labeling some posts about the coronavirus and election security—most prominently some of President Trump’s—with warnings or hid them from view starting in March. Such was the case with a video Trump retweeted to his 86 million followers on Wednesday that was manipulated to make it appear as though Joe Biden played the song “F— tha Police” on his phone at a campaign event, when he actually played “Despacito.”
But the feature works unevenly across Twitter’s platforms: For instance, it doesn’t appear to show up on TweetDeck, a Twitter-operated platform for heavy users, albeit a fraction, of the social network. “Our teams are currently working on improvements to TweetDeck” that would address the issue, a company spokesman said.
Following the rollout of the labels, some users also noticed that there were workarounds to post manipulated media—including by “quoting” the flagged post, which would then appear without a warning label. Twitter’s product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, acknowledged the “gap in implementation” in a tweet, adding that “there were some gnarly technical details that made it take longer to solve than we liked.” Twitter has fixed the issue in recent weeks. Trump has accused Twitter of trying to “silence conservative voices” and has threatened increased regulation of social platforms.
Twitter expects to continue updating the labeling system ahead of Election Day, though there will likely be remaining problems that go unsolved. Some critics of social-media companies continue to press for faster fact-checking and labeling, noting that a post from a popular figure could be seen by millions before the platforms address any misleading or false information.
U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE plans layoffs as it deals with coronavirus challenges, including the indefinite moratorium on in-person conferences. According to a Thursday memo from President Suzanne Clark, the business lobbying behemoth will part ways with “a small number of our colleagues whose roles are no longer required.” A person familiar with the matter pegged the number at around a dozen employees, roughly 2% of the organization’s workforce. The Chamber has had a frosty relationship at times with the Trump administration, especially over trade issues. Its revenue has dipped and its spending on elections has fallen as large corporations find other ways of pushing their influence in Washington.