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Twitter explains how it will handle misleading tweets about the US election results



Twitter recently updated its policies in advance of the U.S. elections to include specific rules that detailed how it would handle tweets making claims about election results before they were official. Today, the company offered more information about how it plans to prioritize the enforcement of its rules and how it will label any tweets that fall under the new guidelines.

In September, Twitter said it would either remove or attach a warning label to any premature claims of victory, with a focus on tweets that incite “unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession,” the company had explained.

This morning, Twitter added that it will prioritize labeling tweets about the presidential election and any other “highly contested races” where there may be significant issues with misleading information.

The company says tweets are eligible to be labeled if the account has a U.S. 2020 candidate label, including presidential candidates and campaigns — meaning the Trump and Biden campaigns will not be immune to the new policies.

Tweets can also be labeled if the account is U.S.-based with more than 100,000 followers or if they have significant engagement with the tweet — the threshold is either 25,000 Likes or 25,000 Quote Tweets plus Retweets, the company says. This latter guideline aims to clamp down on allowing misinformation to go viral, even if the tweet in question was initiated by a smaller account.

Twitter also explained how it will determine if an election result is considered “official,” saying that the result will need to be announced by a state election official. Twitter also may consider an election result official if at least two of a select list of national news outlets make the call. These outlets include ABC News, The Associated Press, CBS News, CNN, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News and NBC News.


If a tweet is labeled as being “misleading information” under this new policy, users will be shown a prompt pointing them to credible information before they’re able to retweet or further amplify the post on Twitter. However, Twitter won’t stop retweets from being posted.

Twitter, however, recently made it more difficult to blindly retweet, by forcing retweets to go through “Quote Tweet” user interface instead. This change aims to slow people down from quickly retweeting posts without adding their own commentary.

In addition to labeling tweets with misleading information, Twitter says if it sees content “inciting interference with the election, encouraging violent action or other physical harms,” it may take additional measures, including adding a warning or even removing the tweet.

Issues around a contested election have been of increased concern, following reports that said President Trump has a plan to declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he’s ahead. Trump denied these claims on Sunday, but added he thinks it’s a “terrible thing when states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long period of time after the election is over,” Axios reported.


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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”



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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.



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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.


But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.


One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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