Twitter introduces Birdwatch, a community-driven approach to tackle the problem of misinforming and misleading posts

In 2020, Twitter had announced that it will be launching a new Birdwatch feature, and now, in 2021, after the US Presidential Election and the inauguration of the new president, the company has finally launched it. However, it is currently available for a small group of 1000 people in the pilot program.

This feature allows these members of the pilot program to fact-check tweets and add their own information to the notes that they find misleading or misinforming. This community-driven approach is expected to derive positive results in controlling the spread of misinformation and content that can lead other people astray in one way or the other. The notes that these people will add are expected to add more context to the tweets, and this is eventually going to help people differentiate between what is true and what is a lie.

As for the pilot program, the notes that the 1000 participants will be adding to tweets will not be visible to the public on Twitter. They will be visible on the public Birdwatch website only.

Pilot members can also rate the notes of other people to highlight the most relevant notes that have been added by the participants.

Twitter’s Vice President of Product, Keith Coleman wrote in a blog post that through this feature, the company is hopeful that it will be able to respond quickly to curb the potential chances of misinformation while adding context to public posts for people to find a way to trustworthy information sources.

The company eventually plans to make notes visible for the global audience on Twitter when the feature will be available for more contributors. People from different mindsets and cultures will present with different views and that is going to broaden the horizon of understanding on the platform too. This will add a lot of diversity and inclusive factors and that is expected to have a positive impact on the social platform.

Twitter has already taken feedback from 100 people belonging to the political sector, and they have also concluded that these notes add more value and trust factor to the tweets along with more context. So, they have found this feature quite helpful.

All the notes that people provide through the Birdwatch feature will be download-able, and the company will eventually “publish the algorithms that power the program publicly in a Birdwatch Guide.” The initial ranking system can be seen on the GitHub page by Twitter.

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