Bringing more reliable context to conversations on Twitter

Monday, 2 August 2021

We’re excited to share that Twitter is collaborating with The Associated Press (AP) and Reuters to expand our efforts to identify and elevate credible information on Twitter.

We are committed to making sure that when people come to Twitter to see what’s happening, they are able to easily find reliable information. Twitter will be able to expand the scale and increase the speed of our efforts to provide timely, authoritative context across the wide range of global topics and conversations that happen on Twitter every day. 

How Twitter currently surfaces credible information and context

Twitter’s Curation team helps give people context to make informed decisions about what they see on Twitter. When large or rapidly growing conversations happen on Twitter that may be noteworthy, controversial, sensitive, or may contain potentially misleading information, Twitter’s Curation team sources and elevates relevant context from reliable sources. 

People currently see this added context and reliable information in the following places on Twitter:

  • Trends. To help explain a top Trend, we often attach additional context to the Trend in the form of a Moment, a single Tweet, or via a written description.
  • Explore Tab. Explore catches you up on a range of subjects, curated just for you. This is where Twitter shows you what’s happening right now. It includes Moments created by Twitter and third parties like news organizations, as well as Trends. 
  • Search. When people search for a hashtag or a phrase on Twitter, certain keywords determined by Twitter will automatically show content at the top of the results from trusted resources or Moments that debunk misinformation.
  • Prompts. During the highest visibility events, such as elections or public health emergencies, Twitter will show prompts in the Explore tab or the Home Timeline that link to a public service announcement (PSA) Moment. These can include information from trusted sources on topics like how to vote safely in a pandemic or trustworthy information about getting vaccinated.
  • Labels. Sometimes a Tweet violates our Synthetic and Manipulated Media, COVID-19 or Civic Integrity misinformation rules but may remain visible on Twitter. In those instances, a label may be added to the Tweet that links to a Moment with informative context on the topic or to the Twitter Rules.
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How this program will help expand these efforts

Through this program, Twitter’s Curation team will increase our capacity to add reliable context to conversations happening on Twitter. This joint work will increase the scale and speed of the current work outlined above by: 

  • Increasing and improving context sharing: Ensuring that credible information is available in real time around key conversations as they emerge on Twitter, especially where facts are in dispute or when Twitter’s Curation team doesn’t have the specific expertise or access to a high enough volume of reputable reporting on Twitter. For example, people on Twitter can expect more Trends with contextual descriptions and links to reporting from trusted sources more frequently.
  • Anticipating and proactively identifying emerging conversation: Proactively providing context on topics garnering widespread interest including those that could potentially generate misleading information. Rather than waiting until something goes viral, Twitter will contextualize developing discourse at pace with or in anticipation of the public conversation.
  • Improving the effectiveness of product features: Supporting product experimentation and existing initiatives where additional credible context could make our work better. For example, Birdwatch will use feedback from AP and Reuters as one way to assess the quality of information elevated by Birdwatch participants.

During this initial phase of the program, AP and Reuters will focus on English-language content. 

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Trust, accuracy and impartiality are at the heart of what Reuters does every day, providing billions of people with the information they need to make smart decisions. Those values also drive our commitment to stopping the spread of misinformation. We're excited to partner with Twitter to leverage our deep global and local expertise to serve the public conversation with reliable information.

Hazel Baker

Head of UGC Newsgathering, Reuters

AP has a long history of working closely with Twitter, along with other platforms, to expand the reach of factual journalism. This work is core to our mission. We are particularly excited about leveraging AP’s scale and speed to add context to online conversations, which can benefit from easy access to the facts.

Tom Januszewski

Vice President of Global Business Development, AP

How will this program work with the enforcement of the Twitter Rules? 

The scope of this program is independent of the work Twitter’s Trust & Safety teams do to determine whether Tweets are in violation of the Twitter Rules. AP and Reuters will not be involved in enforcement decisions.

What’s next?

We expect our efforts to grow over time and the nature of the work may evolve as we learn, observe, and scale our efforts to provide support across languages and timezones, globally.  

This program is just one part of our ongoing efforts to help people understand the conversation happening on our service. People experience a range of public conversations on Twitter every day, and we’re committed to continuing our work to elevate credible information and context. 

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