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Safeguarding election conversations on Twitter

Twitter has put in place election-specific initiatives to safeguard public conversations on the microblogging site. The May 9 presidential elections have, perhaps, the most engaged supporters of candidates. Twitter banned political ads since 2019.

While the fate of Twitter is now in the hands of one man after Elon Musk bought the platform for P44 billion, it still remains an important venue for education and discussion when it comes to candidates’ credentials and platforms. It also allows them to personally engage candidates and fellow supporters.

However, social media has also become a venue for spreading disinformation, misinformation, and hate. These are just few of the reasons Twitter invested in technology and took the time to develop new policies to safeguard the public conversations on the platform during the election period.

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“We are committed to facilitating meaningful political debate, driving civic participation, and protecting the integrity of the election conversation from interference and manipulation,” Twitter said in its advisory. “We will continue to harness the power of the #OpenInternet to strengthen dialogue and encourage quality participation during this important Philippine General Election.”

Reliable resources

To combat the spread of disinformation (or fake news), Twitter activated election-focused search prompts to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English. It also launched a series of customized emojis to aid the discoverability of election-related discussions.

Through a team dedicated to monitoring reports of disinformation and misinformation, Twitter can now label these misleading tweets to help reduce the visibility of false information. Twitter has a specially trained team that reviews and responds to reports 24/7 in multiple languages, including Tagalog.

Voter education

Apart from partnering with the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Twitter is working with a wide range of organizations to ensure Twitter is a place for healthy public conversation.

Twitter trained its sights on strengthening voter education, especially for new voters with reliable and relevant information.

“These initiatives are a first in the Philippines,” Twitter said.

Voters can subscribe via @TwitterPH to receive the latest and most accurate information from Comelec on the elections. Twitter is also working with Plan International Philippines, coordinator of #HIJAlalan2022, to educate voters on the girls’ electoral agenda.