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Twitter enables misinformation reporting tool in Brazil

Twitter enables misinformation reporting tool in Brazil
Photo: Koshiro K/Shutterstock

After pressure from journalists, political actors, and prosecutors, Twitter announced it will conduct tests on a tool allowing Brazilian users to report misleading posts. Users will be offered the option to flag tweets as misinformation when reporting posts. The tool is already available to Twitter users in Australia, South Korea, and the U.S.

Users in Spain and the Philippines will have access to the feature. Like Brazil, the Philippines will hold a presidential election later this year.

As The Brazilian Report showed two weeks ago, users in Brazil had ramped up their complaints about the platform and what they perceive as its malicious laissez-faire stance on misinformation. And, earlier this month, prosecutors ordered Twitter to explain why tools to limit the reach of posts containing falsehoods were not available in the country. 

“We hope that the reporting tool will help our teams better understand new narratives and disinformation trends at scale, and help us advance our ability to detect misleading content on Twitter in real-time,” the platform said in a statement. “So far, this feature has proven to be useful, but also carries its complexities. Of all reported tweets, only 10 percent violated our terms of use,” the company posted.

Journalist Tai Nalon, founder of fact-checking agency Aos Fatos, told The Brazilian Report that the reporting tool is a positive step but not a panacea. “Studies show that simply flagging a post as false is not enough to create a safe environment. One must also give the correct information. Otherwise, the tool itself is subject to misuse.”