Twitter has finally launched its Birdwatch moderation tool. As announced by the company, this feature will act as a community-based crowd-sourced moderation experience to help tackle misinformation on the platform.
Twitter’s fight against misinformation has raged for a while now with varying degrees of success and different methods. It emerged that during the election Twitter labelled 1 in 500 tweets on the topic demonstrating just how much it had put into the effort.
More recently, Twitter banned President Donald Trump for his actions on the site inciting violence before the Capitol attack. This forced CEO Jack Dorsey to issue a lengthy explanation justifying Twitter’s position.
Twitter first announced the concept of the Birdwatch moderation tool back in October. The idea was to have a community-based tool to help Twitter’s misinformation fight. Then details were fairly thin on the ground but now we have a fair bit more information.
Now we have a bit more information on how this will work with Twitter effectively turning to its users to implementing self-policing tool.
Twitter launches community-based ‘Birdwatch’ features
As reported by Android Central, Twitter has tested a range of misinformation tackling tools over the last few months. These range from labelling tweets, making it harder to retweet blindly and banning users.
Birdwatch will allow users to identify Tweets they believe to be misleading or untrue. Twitter believes that allowing users to react to potentially misleading Tweets can help to counteract misinformation in real-time.
As the feature develops Twitter hopes to make these notes made but users publicly available once a consensus has been reached but a representative range of people.
For now, Birdwatch notes will only become available on a separate site. On this site participants will be able to rate the helpfulness of the notes to help gain an understanding of what is working and what is not.
During this pilot Birdwatch notes will not have an effect on Twitter’s recommendations. Twitter believes that people generally support the system based on their interviews.
The company hopes to start this scheme off small and gain feedback at each stage as it expands. The hope is to make the system “resistant to manipulation” by a biased majority which could be a major issue.
Twitter admits that the early stages of Birdwatch “might be messy and have problems at times”. However, the company hopes that in the long run, this will have a major impact on the spread of misinformation by the platform by making its users more accountable.