In an encouraging sign of maturity, Twitter announced it's becoming more journalistic in preparation for the presidential election chaos. The company's launching a new 2020 U.S. election hub meant to help keep voters informed on the democratic proceedings. The temporary platform is now accessible from the Twitter Explore tab, assuming you're located stateside. Well, assuming you serve Twitter with a stateside IP address, of course.
But it would be unreasonable to expect Twitter to go beyond basic geolocation restrictions with this hub. It's not like access to legitimate information could significantly boost any potential misinformation efforts aimed at influencing the presidential race. Hopefully.
While this isn't the first Twitter info hub centered on American elections, the company is getting pretty good at this. The platform hence offers a remarkable degree of customizability – and even its default state is highly personalized.
Besides polling details and other relevant information like an electoral college fact sheet, the hub will also be used for live-streaming major events on the campaign trail. Which pretty much means the debates.
Make no mistake: Twitter becoming more journalistic is a good thing
Twitter will also be offering election news in both English and Spanish. Of course, there's no doubt that latter option may not sit well with some users. So, this may be a good opportunity to remember the U.S. has no official language at the federal level.
As for the aforementioned news package, Twitter says its own team and some reputable news outlets will be curating the content to ensure it's reputable.
Of course, any curation has a pretty high controversy potential. But it's not like U.S. voters aren't used to controversies at this point. Besides, the second most popular alternative to this approach is to do nothing and claim you're protecting free speech so long as that's not too inconvenient on your bottom line.
So, hardly a more consistent position than the one Twitter took. Just to be clear, this is in reference to Facebook, or Mark Zuckerberg, as the two are basically synonymous these days. Speaking of which, Zuckerberg once again backtracked on his talk of freedom of expression, if recent reports are to be believed.
In any case, Twitter's latest effort should be good news for anyone interested in protecting the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process. Which… has seen better days, that's for sure. But no matter the ideology, anyone who deems the election important enough to attend should find it worth protecting. At least assuming their ideology has a 0% chance of causing the Founding Fathers to turn in their graves.