Twitter Launches Birdwatch Tool To Curb Online Misinformation


Twitter has announced that it would start rolling out the Birdwatch notes to pilot participants across iOS, Android and desktop.

Birdwatch is Twitter’s latest crowdsourced project, with the aim of combatting online misleading information. The tool was announced via a blog post, which frames it as a context providing medium.

Birdwatch will allow users to attach notes to tweets that carry misleading information. The notes will serve to provide further context, either clearing up the author’s intention, or simply falsifying their information.

The company had already launched a pilot version of the program back in January.

Product VP, Keith Coleman, wrote in a blog post that:

We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable. Eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.”

Twitter emphasized that the moment Birdwatch notes are added to a tweet, users would be able to rate the tweet, and decide whether the feedback is helpful or not.

If none of the replies are deemed helpful, the Birdwatch card itself will disappear, but if any notes are deemed helpful they’ll pop up directly inside the tweet, TechCrunch explains.

There have been several questions and concerns about how and whether (or not) Birdwatch will work, given the current social media framework.

Read also: Fake News Among Reasons For Twitter Suspension, Presidency Claims

TechCrunch noted that the use of community feedback differs from more centralized efforts used by platforms like Facebook that have tapped independent fact-checking organizations.

Twitter is clearly aiming to decentralize this effort as much as it can and put power in the hands of Birdwatch contributors.

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