More than 80 percent of the Twitter accounts linked to the spread of disinformation are still active and producing fake news to the global audience, said the study by the Knight Foundation. And these accounts continue to publish more than a million tweets in a typical day. Furthermore, last month researchers at Stanford University and New York University found that engagement on fake news on Twitter has actually been rising for the past two years globally. Combined with the latest Knight study, it’s clear that Twitter has work to do when it comes to combating fake news.
Twitter doesn’t agree
Twitter is disputing the Knight Foundation’s findings pointing out what has been done to take on fake news. It should be said, to Twitter’s credit, the company has taken action against fake news. In June this year, Twitter suspended 70 million malicious accounts. And just earlier this month Twitter announced an update to its “elections integrity work,” which includes cracking down on fake, as well as automated, profiles (the types of accounts that are usually involved in the dissemination of misinformation) on elections and any other event.
The issue at hand though isn’t whether or not Twitter is addressing the prevalence of fake news on its platform. Clearly, they are. The criticism is whether Twitter is doing enough.
Twitter is not alone though
Twitter, along with other social media platforms including Facebook have recently come under scrutiny for their failure to stop the spread of misinformation on their platforms. Both platforms have since stepped up their its efforts to curb this phenomenon.
As platform manipulation tactics continue to evolve, Twitter has reacted by expanding rules to better reflect how it identifies fake accounts and what types of inauthentic activity violate its guidelines. As part of the new rules, accounts that deliberately mimic or are intended to replace authentic accounts are now identified as fake accounts.
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