FILE PHOTO: The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Twitter launched on Wednesday an emoji for the European Parliament elections in May, seeking to provide a visual link to channel conversations around a vote set to affect the European Union in the coming years.
Together with Facebook and Google, Twitter has come under pressure to do more to combat disinformation about the elections.
All three companies have pledged to the European Commission to crack down on fake news to avoid heavy-handed legislation.
The emoji features a ballot box and a ballot paper in EU navy blue, with a tick mark on the ballot paper in EU yellow, all surrounded by the iconic ring of stars, which is triggered when the hashtags #EUElections2019 and #EP2019 are used.
“This emoji will encourage more voters to easily connect with the conversation, find out what’s happening and participate in the democratic process,” Karen White, Twitter’s public policy director, said in a statement.
The European Commission is keen to address the threat of fake news and foreign interference during campaigning for the parliament elections, as well as for national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland and Portugal.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Robin Emmott