Both social media companies plan to implement special protocols on Tuesday as election results begin rolling in.
- Twitter says it will remove or add a warning to tweets that declare election wins before official results are declared, as determined by national media outlets.
- When Twitter users try to retweet, the company will show them a prompt encouraging them to "quote tweet" (and thereby add their own commentary) instead, a move designed to slow the spread of misinformation.
- Facebook plans to display election results, as determined by national media outlets, on posts from candidates who contest the results or declare early wins.
Timeline of Twitter policy changes<p>Twitter listed some of its recent policy changes, the most impactful of which was its decision to <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/twitter-political-ads" target="_self">ban political ads in late 2019</a>:</p><ul><li>1/2019 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/18_midterm_review.html" target="_blank">Issued</a> a comprehensive review of our efforts to protect the 2018 U.S. midterms</li><li>6/2019 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/publicinterest.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Launched</a> public interest notice and defined our approach on public interest</li><li>10/2019 - <a href="https://twitter.com/jack/status/1189634360472829952?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Banned</a> all political ads on Twitter, including ads from <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/advertising_policies_on_state_media.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state-controlled media</a></li><li>12/2019 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2019/helping-identify-2020-us-election-candidates-on-twitter.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Added</a> Election Labels to candidates' accounts</li><li>2/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/new-approach-to-synthetic-and-manipulated-media.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Introduced</a> our rules on and labels for synthetic and manipulated media</li><li>3/2020 - <a href="https://www.axios.com/2020-election-gatekeepers-chaos-scenarios-84181512-1fca-4b84-8c10-e95e02e95f61.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Held</a> planning exercises to prepare for a variety of Election Day scenarios</li><li>5/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2020/updating-our-approach-to-misleading-information.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Added</a> labels and warnings to potentially harmful misleading information</li><li>8/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2020/new-labels-for-government-and-state-affiliated-media-accounts.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Deployed</a> labels on government and state-affiliated media accounts</li><li>9/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/Improved-Account-Security-2020-US-Election.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Implemented</a> account security requirements for high-profile political accounts</li><li>9/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/2020-election-news.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Built</a> a U.S. Election hub containing credible news and voting resources</li><li>9/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/empowering-US-voters.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Encouraged</a> voter registration and emphasizing safe voting options</li><li>9/2020 - <a href="https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/civic-integrity-policy-update.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Expanded</a> our civic integrity policy to include specifics around pre and post election day</li></ul>
Credit: Facebook<p>Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, plans to temporarily hide hashtags on all "recent" posts, the company wrote on its <a href="https://help.instagram.com/861508690592298" target="_blank">website</a>:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Recent posts from all hashtags may be temporarily hidden to help prevent the spread of possible false information and harmful content related to the 2020 US election. Instagram is committed to <a href="https://help.instagram.com/388534952086572" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reducing the spread of false information </a>and <a href="https://help.instagram.com/658525634755793" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">giving people accurate information about voting</a>."</p><p>After the election, Facebook and Instagram plan to stop circulating all political ads in an effort to block misinformation about the outcome. The company said this ban should last a week.</p>
Got any embarrassing old posts collecting dust on your profile? Facebook wants to help you delete them.
- The feature is called Manage Activity, and it's currently available through mobile and Facebook Lite.
- Manage Activity lets users sort old content by filters like date and posts involving specific people.
- Some companies now use AI-powered background checking services that scrape social media profiles for problematic content.
Social media background checks<p><br></p><p>Now, the feature could bring users some peace of mind. After all, the platform currently has more than <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/#:~:text=How%20many%20users%20does%20Facebook,network%20ever%20to%20do%20so." target="_blank">2.6 billion monthly active users</a>, and some of these users created accounts in their teens, around the time Facebook became widely available in 2006. As these veteran users get older, it seems likely that many would want to delete years-old posts, whether because content is embarrassing, outdated or professionally jeopardizing.</p><p>Some employers now use automated or <a href="https://www.goodegg.io/blog/is-this-legal-and-other-social-media-screening-faqs" target="_blank">third-party background</a> checks that scrape candidates' social media accounts. These checks can search for content that's racist, sexually explicit, criminal or otherwise offensive. </p><p>But they're not always accurate. One AI-powered background service called <a href="https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/5/11/21166291/artificial-intelligence-ai-background-check-checkr-fama" target="_blank">Checkr has even faced lawsuits</a> from people who claim the company's algorithms made mistakes that cost them job opportunities.</p>
How to use Manage Activity<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffacebookapp%2Fvideos%2F707969696627907%2F&show_text=0&width=560" width="560" height="353" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe><p>It's unclear when Manage Activity will become available on desktop. But to learn how to use it on mobile or Facebook Lite, check out this instructional video from Facebook.</p>
This could become a standard feature one day.
- Facebook has begun hiding 'like counts' in Australia.
- Earlier this month, a reverse engineer predicted that this would be the case.
- The new feature may help in reducing envy and other ill-fated social effects.
Facebook hiding Likes<p>Facebook hiding like counts was originally spotted by reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong. It was <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/facebook-remove-likes" target="_self">predicted earlier this month</a> that Facebook was going to begin publicly testing its hidden Like features sooner than later. The new tests will be running alongside Instagram's pilot hidden Like count initiative as well, whereas Instagram began first testing it in Canada before expanding to six further countries in July. </p> <p>A Facebook spokesperson recently told TechCrunch that, "We are running a limited test where like, reaction, and video view counts are made private across Facebook. We will gather feedback to understand whether this change will improve people's experiences." </p> <p>If the test shows positive results and improves user's sense of self worth, lack of envy and increased participation on the platform, this feature could spread around the world and even one day become a central feature of the application. So far now plans for that have been revealed or talked about. </p> <p>The company's similar test on Instagram is being led by a separate team. </p> <p>The tests have proven successful in keeping users engaged and liking on Instagram and many users have reported <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/22/20699316/instagram-like-hiding-update-feedback-data-countries" target="_blank">liking the hidden counts feature.</a></p> <p>Businesses and creators on instagram are still able to view the highly detailed metrics on their dashboards and they can still track the number of likes on their posted content.</p>
Competition and envy online<p>Facebook hopes that without the looming Like counts, people will be more apt to interact with one another and care less about how their popularity is perceived by others. It also may assist in getting rid of herd mentality and letting people interact freely with content that interests them for what it is, not just for how many likes it has.</p> <p>For those more competitive minded people, they'll still be able to see the totals on their own posts, but they won't be able to compare that with others. Although, that might help them out in the long run. </p> <p>If Facebook goes through with removing Like counts everywhere and it eventually becomes the standard, it could help mitigate the negative effects that social media has on many people's self esteem.</p>
Why an early Facebook investor is now Facebook's biggest critic.
- Investor Roger McNamee joined Facebook as an early investor when the company was just two years old.
- In this video, he explains why he went from Facebook supporter to public critic, and why he came to write the book "Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe".
- The next billion dollars Facebook makes means nothing if it doesn't reform its practices, says McNamee.
Why virtue signaling does nothing.
"A big problem with moral outrage on the Internet is that it leads people to think they’ve done something when in fact they haven’t done something," says author Alice Dreger. Sure, you might get a little rush out of updating your status to say something, but all you're really doing is virtue signaling. Alice's latest book is Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar's Search for Justice.