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"In the last few weeks, you may have seen Tweets with labels linking to additional info about COVID-19," the company said Friday. "Not all of those Tweets had potentially misleading content associating COVID-19 and 5G. We apologize for any confusion and we're working to improve our labeling process."
The announcement comes after Twitter users found that the platform's algorithm prompted a coronavirus fact-check label for any tweet using the words "frequency" and "oxygen."
"This is a fun new meme," journalist Tim Pool said. "Post anything random about oxygen and frequency and Twitter slaps a weird editorial note on your post. So for example I was scuba diving and the frequency of my breathing cost me too much oxygen and I had to resurface early. See if it works!"
Pool's tweet was immediately hit with the label "get the facts about COVID-19," which redirected to a Twitter Moment titled "No, 5G isn't causing coronavirus," addressing a conspiracy theory that 5G was linked to the spread of the pandemic.
The error was immediately ridiculed on Twitter as dozens of posts joking about the keywords were accidentally labeled.
"I've started watching the Oxygen network with some frequency," Daily Caller editor Vince Coglianese tweeted. "Not bad. Dish 127, if you're interested."
"Hillary Clinton did not visit the state of Wisconsin with the urgent frequency that is needed to win an election," conservative commentator Stephen Miller joked. "She dedicated her oxygen to places like Hamilton and Hollywood fundraisers instead."
"Labeling tweets that may contain misleading information continues to be an iterative process," a spokesperson for Twitter told FOX Business. "Given the global spread of misinformation and disputed claims around 5G and COVID-19, we prioritized algorithmically labeling tweets with that information. As we improve this process to be more precise, our goal is to show fewer labels on unrelated tweets."
The company added that it will be "building new automated capabilities" in an effort to focus on more relevant tweets, but the timeline for the new fact-checking system's implementation is currently unclear.