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Twitter launching 'pre-bunks' to anticipate election misinformation

Twitter launching 'pre-bunks' to anticipate election misinformation
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Twitter on Monday announced that it will start placing messages preemptively debunking common election misinformation at the top of users' feeds.

The first message, which the platform is calling a “pre-bunk,” focuses on the safety and accuracy of mail-in voting.

“With the 2020 US general election approaching on November 3, experts and fact-checkers have continued to assure American voters that voting by mail is a safe and secure option, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” the message reads. “Deadlines and rules vary from state to state, so it is important that voters check with their state and county about how to properly vote by mail if this is the voting method they choose, experts say.”

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The next message, set to go live later this week, will remind users that elections results may be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The messages will also appear whenever users search for related terms or hashtags.

Experts have long called for more proactive approaches to online misinformation.

“People rely on Twitter for accurate, credible information about how to vote, and the latest election news, and we believe it’s critical that we make it easy for people to find that information,” a Twitter spokesperson said. “We also know that people may intentionally or unintentionally spread misleading information about these topics, which we have expanded our policies to address.

With a little over a week remaining until the general election, social media companies have been rolling out a series of tweaks and policy updates in an effort to be more prepared for any interference or civil unrest.