Twitter is introducing a policy to label or remove any tweets containing misinformation intended to undermine public confidence in the upcoming US election.
Starting next week, Twitter (TWTR) will label or remove posts containing misleading information about the outcome of election results which could lead to interference with the implementation of the results such as claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.
In addition, under the new policy terms, posts showing disputed claims that could undermine faith in the election process itself will also be scrutinized. This includes unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results. Moreover, Twitter said it will label or remove posts with misleading information creating confusion about the laws and regulations involved in a civic process, or officials and institutions executing those civic processes.
The social media platform said it is implementing the policy due to the changing circumstances of how people will vote in 2020, and to protect the integrity of the election conversation. The restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic will limit the US voting process to mail ballots, which is expected to delay the outcome of results in the upcoming election. This in turn opens up more room for the spread of harmful misinformation that could compromise the integrity of an election or other civic process.
Twitter shares have dropped 6.5% over the past 5 days but are up 22% so far this year. (See Twitter stock analysis on TipRanks).
Cleveland Research analyst Chandler Converse last week reiterated a Hold rating on the stock, amid expectations that Twitter’s pace of recovery will be slower than peers.
According to the analyst’s checks, Twitter’s Q3 ad budgets are tracking in-line with consensus recovering directionally compared to Q2. However, despite improving ad spending tied to a seemingly better overall ad environment and continued outperformance in APAC, the company’s recovery is looking slower than peers due to its larger branding exposure, Converse said. He expects this headwind to persist through the remainder of the year.
The rest of the Street is in line with Converse’s outlook on the stock. The Hold analyst consensus shows 22 Holds and 1 Sell versus 5 Buys. The $38.69 average price target implies that shares are more than fully priced.
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