Twitter launches 'Birdwatch' to combat misinformation

Twitter’s new ‘Birdwatch’ experiment crowdsources fact-checking

Daily Crunch: Twitter unveils Birdwatch

Birdwatch is on a separate section of Twitter, and only pilot participants, who apply to the program, will write posts identifying and rebutting misinformation. Birdwatch is now for people in the US.

"Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading or false, and write notes that provide informative context", Twitter Vice President of Product Keith Coleman wrote in a press release. In a blog post, Twitter revealed that this is a pilot project as of now which has been launched in the United States only. We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable. This was abundantly clear during the 2020 USA election, and we all saw Twitter's attempts to combat the problem by adding notes to Tweets warning of false claims and untruths. On this site, pilot participants can also rate the helpfulness of notes added by other contributors. Notes deemed most helpful will rise to the top of Birdwatch, and these are the ones that could eventually end up showing up on the tweets we all see - for now, Birdwatch content will remain separate while in its trial phase. Additionally, notes will not have an effect on the way people see Tweets or our system recommendations.

Twitter said it ultimately expects to have between 1,000 and 100,000 Birdwatchers. "We'll be focused on these things throughout the pilot", Coleman said in the blog post. Follow @Birdwatch for the latest updates and to provide feedback on how we are doing.

Twitter pilots a new tool to fight disinformation, Apple brings celebrity-guided walks to the Apple Watch and Clubhouses raises funding. Twitter a year ago started adding labels and warnings about misinformation on the site, including about the COVID-19 pandemic and the US election. Dorsey was reportedly concerned about the decision but he had delegated moderation decisions to Gadde and generally deferred to her on account suspensions and did so again.

Twitter and other social media companies have been under pressure to combat misinformation on their platforms.

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