With Social Media as a Turning Point as News Outlets, Twitter Struggles to Find Balance Between Restricting Flow of Objectionable Content

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Twitter on Sunday, applied their “manipulative media” label to an interesting edited video of Presidential candidate, Joe Biden saying, “re-elect Donald Trump.” It was perhaps the first time that the social media triumphed over applying their controls over the flow of manipulative and objectionable data catalogs. The video in question was found tweeted by the handle of the White House Director of social media, Dan Scavino and then retweeted by the President.

However, by the time Twitter acted, the video was viewed over 5 million times and was retweeted over 20,000 counts. The video in question quoted Biden by saying, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s got to be a positive campaign.”

Twitter’s manipulative media policy came into effect after a group of 6,500 users surveyed following discussions on civil societies and academic experts. Nearly nine out of 10 individuals quoted that placing warning labels next to altered or doctored content would be acceptable, quoted Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity. “Overall, people recognize the threat that misleading altered media poses and want Twitter to do something about it,” he writes in an online post.

However, how effective the new system can put in place in curbing the flow of such content, remains to be in question. “It’s better than nothing, but it’s not a heck of a lot,” says John Carroll, who works as a media analyst for WBUR in Boston. “The first time I looked at a screenshot of it, I didn’t even see the warning,” he quotes.

Twitter spokesperson Katie Rosborough acknowledges changes in Twitter’s handling of the data by quoting that they are working on a fix to the following issue. While the label won’t appear in the tweet detail, it will be visible on the timeline and in searches.

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