• Users who retweeted the original tweet receive this reply message: “@username: Correction: Votes still being counted in Mrs. Smith race. She has not been elected. Pls RT”

• The above reply tweet would also be highlighted with a special correction icon, much the same way retweets are highlighted with the square arrows icon from Twitter. (May I be so bold as to suggest using the Report an Error Alliance icon? We’ll give it to Twitter to use for free.)

• Users who click the retweet button on the correction message will also send the message out with the correction icon, thus helping draw attention to it among their followers.

Concerns: There are of course implementation issues, not to mention the fact that we have no idea if Twitter has any interest in this proposal. Aside from those issues, one obvious concern with my proposal is that the correction function could still be abused. By retweeting someone you are opening yourself up to receiving what is in effect a mass message. So I’m still concerned about nasty folks turning this correction feature into a way to spam users. There’s also something of an educational challenge in teaching people how it works. Though I suppose the same can be said for Twitter as a whole. I’ve tried to explain hashtags and retweets to newbies, and it’s not as if those are the most natural things in the world, either.

Omission: One possible way to integrate corrections into Twitter would be to use the annotations feature. I left this out of my proposal because annotations are not yet live, and I’m probably not the best person to figure out how to make this happen. My hope is that annotations might enable you to create a “correction” attribute for a tweet that helps it attract attention as a correction. I believe annotations can be useful in helping create an effective corrections framework for Twitter, and would love to learn more about how that might work.

So that’s what I’ve come up with, faults and all. Help me improve it by adding your thoughts below.

Correction of the Week

“In a Jan. 6 story, The Associated Press reported CNN anchor Piers Morgan’s claim that his interview with then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown turned the tide of Gordon’s election campaign in his favor. While Brown got a boost in the polls after the interview, the story should have noted that he subsequently lost the 2010 election to a Conservative Party-led coalition.” - Associated Press

Craig Silverman is the editor of RegretTheError.com and the author of Regret The Error: How Media Mistakes Pollute the Press and Imperil Free Speech. He is also the editorial director of OpenFile.ca and a columnist for the Toronto Star.