Twitter on Monday, January 25, announced that it’s enlisting the public to join the fight against misinformation on the site through Birdwatch, a new forum that lets users identify misleading tweets.
The community-based feature gives users the ability to weigh in with their own thoughts and add personal notes that add context to contentious posts. These notes will be visible directly on the post when a consensus among other contributors is reached.
Twitter users can also rate the helpfulness of the notes added by contributors.
These notes, however, are currently only viewable in a separate Birdwatch site, which is only accessible for US users at this time.
Twitter executive Keith Coleman wrote in a blog post that this was done intentionally as the social media firm continues to work on the feature, ensuring that it’s not prone to abuse.
“We know there are a number of challenges toward building a community-driven system like this – from making it resistant to manipulation attempts to ensuring it isn’t dominated by a simple majority or biased based on its distribution of contributors. We’ll be focused on these things throughout the pilot,” said Coleman.
Twitter is also taking steps to make Birdwatch transparent to the public, allowing anyone to download notes or view the algorithm code powering the feature.
“We apply labels and add context to Tweets, but we don’t want to limit efforts to circumstances where something breaks our rules or receives widespread public attention. We also want to broaden the range of voices that are part of tackling this problem, and we believe a community-driven approach can help,” Coleman added. – Rappler.com