Twitter Launches Birdwatch Trial Programme to Let Users Fact Check Misinformation

27 Janvier, 2021, 11:51 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Screengrab from Twitter 'Birdwatch' video

Think of it nearly as the Twitter equivalent of Wikipedia editors. With birdwatch, Twitter is going with a community-driven approach to address misleading information.

Birdwatch is Twitter's latest attempt at curbing the spread of false and dangerously misleading information on its platform. "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". In a bid to source some help from its community, Twitter has today launched a new program called Birdwatch that will let people identify misleading content and then write notes with contextual information so that other users can avoid getting influenced by wrong information.

Since Covid-19 spread across the world in 2020, misinformation and disinformation have spiked across virtually all platforms, leading to several Big Tech companies joining forces to combat the spread of false Covid-19 information.

"Here's how it works", Twitter Vice President-Product Keith Coleman wrote in a post on the Twitter blog, explaining, "Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading and write notes that provide informative context".

For now, the fact checks will live on a dedicated Birdwatch site, but Twitter says the goal is to eventually integrate them directly into tweets "when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors".

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"In this first phase of the pilot, notes will only be visible on a separate Birdwatch site", it added.

Additionally, notes will not have an effect on the way people see Tweets or Twitter's system recommendations.

It has also provided the initial ranking system for Birdwatch.

"If we have more applicants than pilot slots, we will randomly admit accounts, prioritizing accounts that tend to follow and engage with different audiences and content than those of existing participants", Twitter wrote.

The company said it interviewed more than 100 people who told the company that Birdwatch notes helped them to better understand tweets.

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