Being one of the biggest social platforms comes with certain drawbacks, and in Twitter’s case, these came in the shape of being an epicenter of misinformation. To tackle such issues on the platform, Twitter introduces a new feature called Birdwatch, a community-based approach to misinformation.
Birdwatch enables Twitter users to identify information in tweets that might be misleading to other users on the platform. Twitter believes the new feature will allow users to respond quickly to tweets that might spread misinformation by adding context from reliable sources that offer accurate information.
Once a diverse group of contributors agree with the note on a tweet, it will be made available to all users globally. This ensures that the added context is valuable and offers reliable information from trustable sources.
As this is a new feature and still in the first phase of release, Birdwatch will be available on its source site. Using this website, participants will also be able to rate notes added by other participants on a scale of usefulness.
Twitter explains that the new features is intentionally made available on a different site to test if it Birdwatch can be a reliable source to eliminate misinformation on the platform and help users discover the real information. Further, this will allow better development without interfering with user experience on Twitter.
Twitter also explained that they have done over 100 interviews with users across the political spectrum and have received exceptional support for Birdwatch. Users expressed that the new feature offers a medium to provide a meaningful context to help users understand a controversial Tweet.
The platform further announced that its goal with Birdwatch is to keep everything transparent. To that end, they will be taking the following steps:
- All information and data contributed to the new feature can be downloaded by users in TSV files from here.
- Twitter also promised to make the code publicly available when adding new features such as a reputation and consensus system. This code will be available to the users on the official Birdwatch website.
- Users can also check the initial ranking system on Birdwatch by clicking this link.
Having the code publicly available for Birdwatch will also enable experts and researchers to verify, analyze, and audit the feature to discover any potential flaws, which should help Twitter develop a quick solution. Users who would like to sign up for the new program can do so from here.