Twitter takes up the fight against fake news

Avatar By Virginia Watson | 3 years ago

Twitter plans to fight fake news by livestreaming breaking news events. The first test for the social media platform was live-streaming footage from Miami’s WSVN 7, as the media outlet covered the school shooting that occured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

According to Buzzfeed News, more than 50,000 Twitter viewers watched the live broadcast. The micro-blogging platform will rely on partnerships with regional news stations to select the footage that will be live-streamed.

In a statement, Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s video head said “we’re continuing to work on new ways we can surface credible and relevant information to help people stay informed. “By pairing live video with the conversation on Twitter, there is no faster way to see what’s happening in the world.” Beykpour came to the company as the CEO of Periscope, a livestreaming app Twitter acquired in 2015.

When users click on live videos, this opens up a stream of tweets related to the news item chosen by Twitter’s algorithm. Currently, this is the latest feature introduced to tackle fake news on social media. Fake news has become a persistent problem on social media, and was especially prominent during the highly toxic 2016 presidential election.

Twitter’s decision to feature news streams contrast with the recent changes with Facebook, which has been the opposition. Facebook has aimed to deemphasize news items and instead display updates by family and friends.