Twitter Inc. said it reflected changes made to the Retweet function with the aim of curbing the spread of disinformation during the US presidential election. With this, Tweet was restored to how it was before.
In October, the platform made it difficult for users to retweet tweets containing misinformation and promoted the use of quoted tweets instead, which included user comments.
It also imposed restrictions, including naming tweets and removing tweets calling on people to interfere in the election process or deny results.
Twitter said: It will no longer ask for tweets to be quoted through the Retweet icon, and the Retweet function will return to what it was before.
After learning from this product experience, we’re sharing an update: today Retweet functionality will be returning to the way it was before.
Here's what we saw while we prompted Quote Tweets (1/4): https://t.co/MzoDKy3d69
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) December 16, 2020
She explained that quoting the tweets instead of retweeting them was intended to encourage people to tweet and think about those tweets, but this did not happen in practice.
The use of quoted Tweets increased, but 45 percent of quoted tweets included one-word confirmations and 70 percent contained fewer than 25 characters. The increase in quoted tweets was also offset by a 20 percent decrease in citation tweets.
The platform also saw an overall decrease of 20 percent in engagement through both Retweets and caged Tweets during that period.
Meanwhile, Facebook in the past few days has rolled back its algorithm that boosted news from trusted outlets rather than partisan sources after the November elections, indicating a return to normality for the social network.
According to a report in the New York Times, the application of the algorithm led to a decrease in traffic for party sites such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats, with the increase for trusted outlets.
Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne said: This change was temporary, and we did it to help limit the spread of inaccurate allegations about the election, and we still ensure that people see reliable and informative news on Facebook on important global topics, such as: elections. Coronavirus and climate change.