From time to time, good news on Twitter is welcome. Elon Musk’s social network has expanded the functions of its Community Notes program, which is used to check the veracity of the information provided in tweets on the platform. With this new update, users in the program will now be able to add contextual notes to images attached to tweets.
The Community Notes feature already existed before Elon Musk’s arrival on Twitter, and allows the social network’s own users to add context to tweets that may contain misinformation or incomplete data that can be misinterpreted. Previously, users who are part of the program (which enabled a waiting list for new members a few weeks ago) could only add contextual notes to the tweets themselves, but now it will also be possible to add notes to images attached to a tweet.
According to Twitter, adding a contextual note to an image will also appear in “recent and future matching images”. The platform’s announcement places particular emphasis on AI-generated fake images, a phenomenon that is gaining increasing popularity and has shown us Donald Trump being detained by police and Pope Francis wearing a Balenciaga-style coat.
While these types of images may seem harmless or even comical, other AI-generated images can be very dangerous. Recently, a legion of “verified” accounts with Twitter’s new blue check shared a series of AI-created images of an alleged explosion at the Pentagon, generating panic among users.
The Community Notes program takes on special importance if we take into account that Elon Musk does not seem to care much about what people say, even if it is false, as long as they “express themselves freely”. A few days ago, it became known that Twitter withdrew from the European Union’s Code of Best Practices on online disinformation, something that will not prevent the platform from being sanctioned if it does not put more means in place to prevent the spread of disinformation.
In a world that is increasingly polarized and where the extreme right is gaining ground in many countries, social networks should have a system in place to prevent the spread of misinformation, including a human moderation team that is able to understand the context and look out for the well-being of users. On Twitter, which fired most of its moderation team, we have Community Notes. It’s something, I guess.
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