Twitter Launches 'Birdwatch' Platform To Combat Misinformation

Jan 26, 2021 2 min read

Twitter has announced a new system to combat the rising spread of misinformation & disinformation on the platform.

Twitter's new Birdwatch system allows users to discuss and provide context for tweets they believe can be misleading or false.

For the time-being, Birdwatch will be a standalone section of Twitter available to a small set of users, mainly on a first-come, first-served basis.

Twitter won't be giving priority to high-profile people or traditional fact-checkers, but users need to have an account tied to a real phone number and an email address.

"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.

"We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable."

While Birdwatch will initially be limited to a separate section of Twitter, the company said, "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."

Birdwatch users can flag tweets from a dropdown menu directly within Twitter's main interface. However, discussion about a tweet's authenticity will remain exclusively in the Birdwatch section.

Birdwatch participants can also rate others' notes as a mechanism to prevent bad-faith users from hijacking the system and falsely labeling true tweets as false.

Twitter hopes to build a community of "Birdwatchers" that will eventually help moderate and label tweets in its main product. But it won't be immediately labeling tweets with Birdwatch suggestions.

Shivam Devgan

Shivam is a content and marketing strategist at Statusbrew and loves to write content that tells a story. When he's not on his laptop you can find him working out and jamming to pop music.

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