Twitter Partners With AP, Reuters to Combat ‘Misinformation’

August 3, 2021 Updated: August 3, 2021

Twitter announced Monday it will partner with The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies to combat alleged “misinformation,” although it’s not clear how it will be deployed.

The San Francisco-based company, in a blog post, said the partnership with Reuters and AP will expand its “efforts to identify and elevate credible information on Twitter.” That will affect the social media website’s trends section, explore tab, its search function, labels, and more, according to the company.

Twitter’s blog post also said it will “contextualize” emerging conversations and try to anticipate conversations before they even begin.

With the move, Twitter stated that one of its goals is “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.”

Twitter’s move to target so-called “misinformation” is sure to draw criticism from some of its users. Conservatives have said that Big Tech and social media firms have unfairly targeted prominent users for posting content that is deemed politically sensitive or highlights a certain candidate or politician in a negative light.

Toward the end of the 2020 election cycle, a bombshell report from the New York Post Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and the content of his laptop was blocked by the social media company, although CEO Jack Dorsey later wrote that it was handled incorrectly. The NY Post, meanwhile, was locked out of its account for several days, leading to calls for censorship.

And reports that included speculation about whether an initial COVID-19 outbreak originated from a top-security laboratory in Wuhan, China, were also suppressed by Facebook and Twitter—with Facebook even blocking and deleting such posts. Conservatives and Chinese human rights activists then accused social media companies of covering up for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has categorically denied that the virus leaked from the Wuhan facility.

Later, though, some U.S. officials including President Joe Biden acknowledged that the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis is credible. Biden earlier this year announced that the 17-agency U.S. Intelligence Community would deliver a report on the virus’s origins within several months.

Former President Donald Trump last month announced a class-action lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, and Google-owned YouTube, accusing the companies of denying his rights to free speech. Twitter, Facebook, and Google announced in January that they had suspended Trump over his claims that the Nov. 3 election was stolen and also alleged that he contributed to the Jan. 6 violence.