Onlne media has quietly become one of the most influential sources of information for millions of internet users all over the world. However, at the same time, the scourge of #fake news has become an epidemic over the past year or so and one of the most potent platforms for spreading fake news is social media. In a new development, #Twitter has decided to tackle this problem and according to a #Washington Post report, the company is trying out a feature that will be used to flag such new stories.

A necessary step

Although Twitter does not command the same number of users as social media websites, it remains a highly influential platform due to the presence of newsmakers on the platform and the presence of fake news has been a concern for some time now.

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According to the report in Washington Post, the company is trying out a new feature that will allow Twitter users to flag a tweet that they feel might be fake news and it is currently an experimental project, according to individuals who are aware of the developments.

However, it is necessary to point out that the feature is currently a part of a project and still in the early stages of development. In fact, there is no guarantee that Twitter will make it a part of their platform even if it does prove to be a success. It is indeed a welcome step and probably means that the company is working on other features too that will be geared towards this effort.

Features of the feature

If the feature is introduced then it will be included in the drop down menu alongside tweets, according to the two people who spoke to the Washington Post anonymously.

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Over the past year or so, Twitter has been unable to control the mushrooming of fake accounts that are often controlled by extremists and in turn, those accounts spread fake news stories that further add to the confusion for regular users.

The dissemination of fake news stories reached its peak in the period leading up to the US Presidential elections last year and plenty of experts have pointed out that it had a negative effect on public discourse for the way in which facts got distorted. Last December, Pew Research Center conducted an opinion poll on the subject and around 65% of the respondents stated that fake news stories on social media websites contributed to a lot of confusion. In such a scenario it is indeed an excellent development that Twitter has finally woken up to the dangers posed by certain aspects of its platform.