Twitter Unveils Raft Of New Measures Ahead Of US Elections

Twitter (TWTR) has unveiled additional product and enforcement updates ahead of the upcoming US election, that it hopes will increase context and ‘thoughtful consideration’ before Tweets are amplified.

The company now says that it will label Tweets that falsely claim a win for any candidate and will remove Tweets that encourage violence or call for people to interfere with election results or polling places.

Meanwhile, starting next week, when people attempt to Retweet one of these Tweets with a misleading information label, they will see a prompt pointing them to credible information before they can amplify the Tweet.

Plus Twitter will now add additional warnings and restrictions on Tweets with a misleading information label from US political figures (including candidates and campaign accounts), US-based accounts with more than 100,000 followers, or that obtain significant engagement.

People must tap through a warning to see these Tweets, and then will only be able to Quote Tweet; likes, Retweets and replies will be turned off, and these Tweets won’t be algorithmically recommended by Twitter.

“We expect this will further reduce the visibility of misleading information, and will encourage people to reconsider if they want to amplify these Tweets” Twitter explained.

Beginning October 20 through at least the end of Election week in the US, Twitter also plans to introduce further global changes to Twitter. These include encouraging people to add their own commentary by prompting them to Quote Tweet instead of Retweet- and preventing “liked by” and “followed by” recommendations from people not followed by the user showing up in their timeline or notifications.

Finally, it will only surface Trends in the “For You” tab in the United States that include additional context. That means there will be a description Tweet or article that represents or summarizes why that term is trending.

Twitter adds that throughout the election period it will have teams around the world working to monitor the integrity of the conversation. “We have already increased the size and capacity of our teams focused on the US Election and will have the necessary staffing to respond rapidly to issues that may arise on Twitter on Election night and in the days that follow” the social media giant concludes.

Twitter shares have surged 43% so far this year. However the stock scores a cautious Hold analyst consensus based on 23 Holds and 1 Sell versus 6 Buys. The $40 average analyst price target implies that shares could pull back over 12% from current levels.

Cleveland Research analyst Chandler Converse recently reiterated a Hold rating on the stock, amid expectations that Twitter’s pace of recovery will be slower than peers.

According to the analyst’s checks, Twitter’s Q3 ad budgets are tracking in-line with consensus recovering directionally compared to Q2. However, despite improving ad spending tied to a seemingly better overall ad environment and continued outperformance in APAC, the company’s recovery is looking slower than peers due to its larger branding exposure, Converse said. He expects this headwind to persist through the remainder of the year. (See Twitter stock analysis on TipRanks).

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