Twitter is testing a tool for reporting fake & offensive content

In this post-2016 presidential election world, the way social networks combat the spread of fake news has become a major issue. Facebook is the big culprit here, and it's admitted it needs to take steps to improve, but Twitter isn't far behind. While the company has yet to pledge to take action, it appears at least internally they're testing one solution: a tool that allows users to flag tweets that contain things like fake news and harmful content.

Speaking to the Washington Post, sources have said this feature is still in the prototype stage and there's no solid plans yet on when or even if it will be released to the public. In its current form, the tool is being designed not only to report and stop the spread of fake news, but help curb the rampant abuse against users like women and minorities that Twitter has become known for in the last few years.

The idea is that users could select the flag option from like a drop-down menu that appears next to tweets. Obstacles the social network is still struggling with include the feature being abused by those trying to stop the spread of legitimate news sources, as well as the millions and millions of bots on the service that are designed to repeatedly tweet the same message or retweet a questionable source to improve its standing.

Twitter's official comment is that "There are no current plans to launch any type of product along these lines," but there's little doubt that it needs something like this feature. When social networks have the ability to amplify the spread of misinformation so much that they can affect presidential elections, some serious changes need to be made.

SOURCE Washington Post