Twitter is the place to find real-time, reliable information about the 2022 midterms – whether you’re looking for breaking news from reporters, information on voting, or policy positions from candidates. We aim to enable healthy civic conversation on Twitter, while ensuring people have the context they need to make informed decisions about content they encounter. Because we’re a global service, there’s almost always an election happening on Twitter.
Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking ahead of the US midterms to protect civic conversation on Twitter.
Our Civic Integrity Policy
As a key part of the Twitter Rules, since 2018, our Civic Integrity Policy has helped people find credible information during elections and other civic processes — including in the Philippines, Kenya, Australia, Brazil, and India – just this year.
Today, as we do ahead of other global elections, we’re activating enforcement of our Civic Integrity Policy for the 2022 US midterms.
The Civic Integrity Policy covers the most common types of harmful misleading information about elections and civic events, such as: claims about how to participate in a civic process like how to vote, misleading content intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in the election, and misleading claims intended to undermine public confidence in an election – including false information about the outcome of the election. Tweets with this content may be labeled with links to credible information or helpful context, and Twitter will not recommend or amplify this content in areas of the product where Twitter makes recommendations. People on Twitter will see a prompt prior to liking or sharing labeled tweets, and in cases where there is potential for harm associated with the false or misleading claim, the Tweet may not be liked or shared to prevent the spread of the misleading information.
Fake accounts that misrepresent affiliation to a candidate or elected official are prohibited under our existing Misleading & Deceptive Identities Policy — and we remain vigilant against potential coordinated manipulation efforts. And during this election period, and year-round, we continue to enforce our safety policies – including for conduct targeting election workers.
Late last year, we tested new misleading information labels and saw promising results. The new labels increased click through rates by 17%, meaning more people were clicking labels to read debunking content. We also saw notable decreases in engagement with Tweets labeled with the new design: -13% in replies, -10% in Retweets and -15% in likes.
Finding reliable information
Twitter wants to empower voters to find reliable information about how to register, how to vote, and the choices on their ballot. To make it easier to find reliable news and accurate information about participating in the civic process, we’re launching a number of product updates.
Here’s what you can expect to see on Twitter as election day approaches in the US:
In the lead up to election day, we’ll share prompts with information about how and where to vote, directly to people’s timelines.
We’re also bringing back prebunks — in English, Spanish, and all other languages supported on Twitter — to get ahead of misleading narratives on Twitter, and to proactively address topics that may be the subject of misinformation. Over the coming months, we’ll place prompts directly on people’s timelines in the US and in Search when people type related terms, phrases, or hashtags.
State-specific event hubs
We’ve begun rolling out state-specific event hubs as primaries take place across the country. These localized pages feature real-time election information from state election officials, plus local news outlets and journalists.
Soon, we’ll roll out an additional, nationally focused Event page, available to everyone in the US.
Dedicated Explore tab
As elections take place around the world, Twitter often serves as the centralized hub for real-time political conversation, resources, and breaking news. We’ll be launching a dedicated Explore tab that will include:
Identifying who’s running for office
Our candidate account labels make it easier to identify who’s running for office. We began rolling out these labels in May, as primary elections kicked into full swing, and you’ll continue to see these labels until the end of the general election. These labels:
We’ve also made – and continue to make – updates to how and what we recommend on Twitter. Earlier this year, in the US and Brazil, we tested ways to prevent misleading Tweets from being recommended through notifications. Early results show that impressions on misleading information dropped by 1.6 million per month, as a direct result of the experiment.
We’ve since applied this intervention to notification recommendations on Twitter and are exploring possibilities for other surfaces on Twitter.
We’re helping to protect and secure accounts of government officials, candidates for office, journalists, and more ahead of the midterms.
Accounts will be reminded to use a strong password, encouraged to enable two-factor authentication, and asked to check the third-party apps they’ve connected to their accounts. We will also enable password reset protection for accounts by default to help prevent unauthorized password changes.
In the coming weeks, we’ll apply additional proactive safeguards for these accounts, including:
We take our role seriously
Twitter plays a critical role in empowering democratic conversations, facilitating meaningful political debate, and providing information on civic participation – not only in the US, but around the world. People deserve to trust the election conversations and content they encounter on Twitter.
We’re exploring other ways to help people make sense of content they encounter during these critical times. Keep an eye on @TwitterSafety for media literacy tips and suggestions, like how to spot misinformation, which were developed in partnership with educational experts.
The features and tools outlined above, in combination with continued enforcement of the Twitter Rules, help make this possible.
As election day nears, we’ll continue to share real-time information about our approach.
Keep up with the latest at @TwitterGov, @Policy, and @TwitterSafety. Or, visit the revamped elections.twitter.com – you’ll find information about how we approach elections around the world, including how our policies, products, and partnerships work together to ensure the election information you see on Twitter is credible and relevant.