Twitter Unveils ‘Birdwatch,’ a New Platform Where Users Fact-Check Tweets
On Monday, Twitter debuted a new feature that will allow users to add notes to other people’s tweets. It’s a user-generated fact-checking system, and it’s called Birdwatch.
In the pilot phase, these notes will be available on a separate website rather than Twitter itself—though the tentative plan is to eventually add the feature to the main platform.
Nick Pickles, director of public policy strategy and development at Twitter, told Reason the goal is to “move the policy debate about content moderation beyond a framing of deciding whether things are true or false or not.”
“People on Twitter desire to be part of the conversation,” he said.
Twitter gave me a preview and demonstration of Birdwatch prior to its launch and solicited my feedback. The concept is intriguing: Notes will be written by Twitter users who have signed up for Birdwatch. The idea is to provide clarification; in the pilot program, participants could use a note to explain why a tweet is inaccurate, for instance. If another user thinks a note is wrong, they can add a note of their own. Participants will rate the helpfulness of other Birdwatchers’ notes, and eventually, Twitter will be able to prioritize the visibility of notes that were written by users who are highly rated.
“These notes are being intentionally kept separate from Twitter for now, while we build Birdwatch and gain c
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