Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology, said ‘fake news as a category or misinformation as a category is just way too big’ because fiction and jokes could be considered misinformation. He says the job of platforms like Twitter is to pick out the intent to mislead, make sure it doesn’t spread, and ‘to make sure that it doesn’t gain in impressions beyond its earned reach.’ India has recently seen deadly violence related to fake news.
- Can Twitter identify the intent behind Tweets at scale?
- Has Twitter lagged behind other platforms in rooting out fake news?
- Which platform has been the worst channel for fake news worldwide?
Jack Dorsey wants to break the “false news” phenomenon down into smaller pieces in order to better manage it.
The Twitter co-founder and CEO believes “fake news as a category or misinformation as a category is just way too big” because fiction and jokes could also be classified as misinformation. Speaking at a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi today (Nov. 12), he said the real task at hand is to identify content that “misleads people into taking an action.”
One example Dorsey mentioned was a fraudulent tweet before the US presidential election in 2016 that instructed people to send an SMS to a particular number to be registered to vote. “It was misleading people to an action, to make them think that they registered to vote so they could participate in the 2016 presidential election in the United States,” he said. “If they did that, they actually would not have been registered. That is dangerous.”
Twitter’s job, he explained, is to prevent the spread of misinformation. “If it is intending to mislead, we need to understand and pick out the misinformation and then our job is to make sure it doesn’t spread. And our job is to make sure that it doesn’t gain in impressions beyond its earned reach…and certainly not to anyone that hasn’t explicitly asked for it.”
How Twitter plans to identify the intention behind certain tweets is unclear.