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New Twitter tool links users to accurate census information

The new tool on Twitter is an effort to stop the flow of hoaxes and false claims related to the census.
Credit: AP
FILE - This April 26, 2017, file photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is rolling out a new tool to help users find accurate information about this year's U.S. Census.

The social media platform says that now anytime users search for census-related information, they will be given a link to the Census Bureau website. This website offers clear information on the 2020 Census, how to participate, and how the Census process will safeguard individual privacy and security. 

It's an effort to stop the flow of hoaxes and false claims related to the census, which is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House and allocate federal funding. 

Misinformation about the census could skew the result if it discourages immigrants and minorities from participating.

"The Census Bureau is glad to have the help of our 2020 Census partners and technology platforms in the fight against misinformation and disinformation. There's still work to be done and we need everyone's help in reporting content intended to affect the accuracy and completeness of the count," said Ron Jarmin, the US Census Bureau Deputy Director and COO.

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Last week, Twitter announced it will begin to label and in some cases remove doctored or manipulated photos, audio and videos that are designed to mislead people. The company said that the new rules prohibit sharing synthetic or manipulated material that's likely to cause harm.

Material that is manipulated but isn't necessarily harmful may get a warning label. Deciding what might cause harm could be difficult to define, though. The new guidelines go into effect on March 5.

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