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Twitter Is Adding An Alias System To Birdwatch, Allowing Users To Keep Their Online Identity Safe

Twitter is working on a new Birdwatch alias feature, allowing users to operate within the system's boundaries and combat misinformation anonymously.

Birdwatch is an endeavor launched at the start of 2021 by Twitter in an attempt to counter all of the misinformation running rife on the social media platform. While one could cite many instigating incidents and reasons for such a system to be introduced, perhaps one of the most major of these can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of the nonsensical conspiracy theories that came out of it, and the massive boost of energy and content the anti-vaccination movement started generating, there was only so much that Twitter and its devs (developers) could do in order to keep everything in check. Their solution? Go to the userbase.

Birdwatch is a standalone version of Twitter via which users can flag content that is factually incorrect or dubious at the least. These flags can also be accompanied by notes provided by the user, providing context as to why the flag was placed in the first place and what correct could potentially replace it. Notes are currently limited to being viewed by Birdwatch users exclusively, but are planned on being released to vanilla Twitter and its userbase as well. Overall, Birdwatch's concept is one that may strike users as lazy or even as a display of incompetence. After all, it does seem like Twitter's devs threw their hands up and said "let the community handle this themselves". However, this amount of direct input from the userbase is also a good thing, and helps users be more involved with providing feedback to the devs.

Birdwatch's alias feature possibly comes in light of certain internet users being a bit more aggressive in their pursuits to spread misinformation. Doxxing another user is very, very easy to do, and can lead to online harassment and even harm in some extreme cases. Some users want to offer their input, but don't want that input being associated with them. That's where aliases come in. With Birdwatch allowing users to not use their exact Twitter handle, everyone can get back to providing feedback and criticism without the worry of said user spamming their direct messages for the next month or so.


H/T: Jane Manchun Wong

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