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Twitter Birdwatch is a new community forum designed to Combat Fake News

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Twitter Birdwatch is a new community forum built to combat misinformation and disinformation on Twitter. The community-driven forum allows Twitter users to identify and flag information they find misleading by adding notes that provide more detailed and informative context.

In a blog post, Twitter notes that birdwatch has the potential of responding quickly when misleading information spreads by adding context that people can trust and find valuable. Published notes will be made available directly on the tweet in question with a consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors.

“People come to Twitter to stay informed, and they want credible information to help them do so. 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”

–– Part of the Twitter blog post reads

At the moment, Twitter Birdwatch is run as a separate site in beta mode for users available in the United States. On the site, pilot users are able to rate the relevance of notes added by other users on potentially misleading Tweets. But once launched, pinned notes will have no effect on how people view tweets on the platform or receive automatic system recommendations.

Prior to launching Twitter Birdwatch, the company apparently conducted over 100 qualitative interviews with individuals across the political spectrum who use Twitter on a daily timeframe. With positive feedback registered from the interviews, Twitter decided to use notes as the best way to provide useful context to users contrary to mere flagging tweets true or false.

  • All data contributed to Birdwatch will be publicly available and downloadable in TSV files 
  • As we develop algorithms that power Birdwatch — such as reputation and consensus systems — we aim to publish that code publicly in the Birdwatch Guide. The initial ranking system for Birdwatch is already available here –– The Twitter Blog post further reads

Henceforth, the age of fake news and misinformation riding on the glory of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp seems to be coming to a steep end with Birdwatch as the first community-driven platform to set a benchmark grade.

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