Twitter Teams With U.S. Census Bureau To Reduce Misinformation

Following the lead of Facebook and Pinterest, Twitter just announced a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to reduce the spread of misinformation surrounding the upcoming 2020 Census.

In partnership with the Census Bureau, Twitter is launching a new tool that will direct users to the official Census site after they search for certain keywords associated with the Census.

“Ensuring the public can find information from authoritative sources is a key aspect of our commitment to serve the public conversation on Twitter,” Kevin Kane, public policy manager at the social network notes in a new blog post.

The Census Bureau’s plan to conduct its decennial Census later in the year has inspired a wave of misinformation designed to discourage people from participating, or from providing accurate information.  

Among other weighty consequences, the statistics gathered by the Census are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives. They inform how state, local, and federal lawmakers will allocate billions of dollars in funds to local communities over the next decade.

Paving the way for this latest pact, Twitter co-hosted a training with the Census Bureau last year, which included about 30 civil society partners.

Hosting such trainings has become commonplace for Twitter, which has sought to increase awareness of its “civic integrity” policies and best practices.

Like Facebook and other social networks, Twitter has been widely criticized for failing to properly police its platform.   

As part of its effort to redress past failings, Twitter has also signed on as a founding member of the Civic Alliance -- a nonpartisan group of businesses focused on increasing civic involvement.

“The coalition will specifically focus on supporting participation in the Census,” according to Kane.

Going forward, Twitter also plans to apply its existing election integrity policy to Census-related content to ensure related conversation remains healthy on its platform.
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