Twitter planning to create label for automated ‘bot’ accounts

Platform News: Twitter App

Twitter is planning to create a new type of accounts for bots next year which will identify them automated, the company stated in a blog article finalizing plans to get a reboot of its long-paused confirmation program.

The company stated bot accounts “can bring a lot of value to the service,” but admitted that “it can be confusing to people if it’s not clear that these accounts are automated.”

Twitter has faced years of calls from misinformation researchers to disclose additional information about bots, which were used to amplify influence operations and make certain narratives appear more popular on its own website.

It began requiring developers to identify automated accounts as bots in March, but resisted pressure to apply a designated tag, saying as recently as May that “calls for bot labelling don’t capture the problem we’re trying to solve.”

Twitter also stated on Thursday that it might build a brand new “memoralized account” type in 2021 for those who have expired.

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Abuse of those accounts has additionally been a feature of information campaigns, such as in one instance documented last year by academic Marc Owen Jones between the verified report of an American meteorologist who died of cancer in 2016 that began tweeting pro-Saudi government content in Arabic two years after.

Twitter announced last month that it would restart its own confirmation program early next year, after pausing admissions in 2017 amid criticism over how it awarded the grim check-mark badges used to authenticate the identity of prominent accounts.

It said it would start removing verified swipes from inactive and incomplete accounts that fail to adhere to the new recommendations as of Jan. 20, 2021, though it could leave up inactive accounts of folks that are no longer residing while working to the newest memorial feature.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Katie Paul. Editing by Lisa Shumaker.

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