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Twitter will fix its overly aggressive '5G corona' fact-checking

It shouldn't label unrelated tweets quite so often.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 27, 2020
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The Twitter logo is seen on a sign at the company's  headquarters in San Francisco, California on November 4, 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON        (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter knows its system for automatically fact-checking posts mentioning 5G and the coronavirus is more than a little overzealous, and it’s hoping to tone things down. The social network has promised to “improve” the precision of its labeling system and fact-check fewer tweets that merely happen to include certain keywords. The company is developing “new automated capabilities” to focus more on genuinely relevant tweets, according to an additional statement.

There was no indication of a timeline for the improvements.

The vow comes after users blasted Twitter for labeling a large number of tweets that weren’t at all involved in spreading bogus theories linking 5G to the pandemic. While this didn’t necessarily hurt innocent people, it did diminish the value of the fact-checking system — it’s supposed to be used sparingly. A more refined approach could ensure that people take the labels more seriously.

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