Twitter apologized for accidentally tagging some tweets about the coronavirus and 5G pandemic as misleading content.
“In the past few weeks, you may have seen Tweets with tags that link to additional information about COVID-19,” the company said on Friday. “Not all of those Tweets had potentially misleading content that associated COVID-19 and 5G. We apologize for any confusion and are working to improve our tagging process.”
FACEBOOK WILL BEGIN TO INDICATE SOME POLITICAL CONTENTS THAT VIOLATE ITS POLICIES
The announcement comes after Twitter users discovered that the platform’s algorithm generated a coronavirus data verification tag for any tweet using the words “frequency” and “oxygen.”
“This is a fun new meme,” said journalist Tim Pool. “Randomize anything about oxygen and frequency, and Twitter gives your post a weird editorial note. So, for example, I was diving and the frequency of my breathing cost me too much oxygen and I had to resurface early. See if works!”
Pool’s tweet was immediately hit with the tag “get the data on COVID-19,” which redirected to a Twitter moment titled “No, 5G is not causing coronavirus,” addressing a conspiracy theory that 5G was linked to the spread of the pandemic.
The mistake was immediately derided on Twitter when dozens of posts joking about keywords were accidentally tagged.
“I started seeing the oxygen network quite frequently,” Daily Caller editor Vince Coglianese tweeted. “Not bad. Plate 127, if you’re interested.”
“Hillary Clinton did not visit the state of Wisconsin with the urgent frequency it takes to win an election,” joked conservative commentator Stephen Miller. Instead, she dedicated her oxygen to places like the Hamilton and Hollywood fundraisers. “
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“Tagging tweets that may contain misleading information is still an iterative process,” a Twitter spokesperson told FOX Business. “Given the global spread of misinformation and disputed claims surrounding 5G and COVID-19, we prioritize algorithmic tagging of tweets with that information. As we improve this process to be more precise, our goal is to show fewer tags on tweets not related “.
The company added that it will be “building new automated capabilities” in an effort to focus on more relevant tweets, but the timeline for implementing the new fact-checking system is unclear.
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