Serving the public conversation for #GE2019

Monday, 11 November 2019

During any election, Twitter is the place for people to see what’s happening, participate in the conversation, and track the campaign trail. 

Today we’re announcing some further initiatives to help support and protect the UK election conversation. 

With every major UK political party, around 90% of MPs, and the majority of candidates present on Twitter, #GE2019 will be full of news, views, updates, information, and debate. 

Here are some of the things we’re doing to ensure that debate is healthy, open, and safe:

Custom UK elections emoji 

To unite people around the UK election conversation on Twitter, this week we’re launching a custom election emoji that will run for the duration of the campaign. The emoji is a visual play on the word ‘VOTE’ and will be activated by the hashtags #GE19#GE2019, #GeneralElection19 and #GeneralElection2019. We hope the emoji will be a valuable visual link to help promote the discoverability of the election conversation.  

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Our approach to election-related misinformation

In conjunction, tomorrow we’re also launching a new tool for the UK election that enables people to report deliberately misleading information about the voting process. 

This specifically relates to:

  • misleading information about how to vote or register to vote (for example, that you can vote by Tweet, text message, email, or phone call);
  • misleading information about requirements for voting, including identification requirements; and
  • misleading statements or information about the official announced date or time of an election.

The new tool will run for seven days after the election. Read more here about Twitter Rules which prohibit misleading people about voting.

Political advertising ban 

As Jack outlined recently, Twitter will soon prohibit all political advertising globally from the service. We’ll publish detailed policy specifics on November 15, and begin enforcement on November 22.

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Partner Support Portal 

The Partner Support Portal (PSP) is a dedicated reporting channel to enable Twitter’s partner organisations around the world to expedite emerging issues directly to us. Dozens of UK partners — including some government departments and the Parliamentary Security Department — are now enrolled in the tool. The PSP has proven particularly effective in highlighting hateful and abusive behaviours that undermine political discourse and harm the civility of the debate, including content directed at candidates and MPs. 

Additionally, our continued investment in proactive technology means we’re getting better at removing abusive Tweets. As outlined in our recent Transparency Report, 50% of abusive Tweets we now remove are surfaced proactively by technology, rather than from reports by people who use Twitter.  

Safety and security training for candidates  

Our UK team is also offering safety and security training to all political parties and candidates, where we will walk them through tools such as mute, block and report, and various security tips and techniques such as two-factor authentication. We have promoted with all MPs and major political parties our dedicated channel for candidates and campaigners to get in touch, and are working with government departments to further promote our safety advice and resources.

We’ve established a cross-functional UK elections team that will proactively protect the integrity of the election-related conversation, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors. We’ll also be working closely with partners like @ElectoralCommUK, and supporting political parties and candidates to ensure they get the most from Twitter as a campaigning tool during the election cycle. 

We’ll be working hard to support and protect the #GE19 conversation while bringing voters the best of real-time, reliable, and relevant information on this critical election. 

Call for public feedback for new synthetic and manipulated media policy

Additionally, today we’re also launching a public consultation process around our new synthetic and manipulated media policy, which was announced recently by Vijaya Gadde, our Global Head of Trust and Safety, Legal, and Public Policy. We want to hear from you to ensure we consider your perspective and how this policy may impact different communities. You can read more here about how to share your input.

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