Top line

In a major effort to rewrite content moderation, Twitter on Monday unveiled Birdwatch, a crowdsource fact-checking pilot program to combat misinformation.

In this photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a smartphone and a computer screen … [+] the background.

Photo illustration by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Key factors

Birdwatch allows regular users, called “bird watchers,” to identify tweets they believe contain misinformation and write notes with more information and context, similar to Wikipedia, where registered volunteers write, update, and edit articles to address the issue Ensure accuracy.

Anyone can apply to be a bird watcher. The only requirements are a valid phone number, email address and no recent violations of Twitter rules.

Birdwatch notes appear under a tweet. To prevent users from playing the system, birdwatchers can rate the effectiveness of each note, which affects the ranking of the note.

The program is currently a pilot project and is only available through a separate website, but eventually the company plans to expand Birdwatch to the rest of Twitter.

During the pilot, Twitter said it wanted to focus on making Birdwatch “resistant to tampering and making sure it is not” dominated by a simple majority or biased due to its distribution of contributors “.

Crucial quote

“We believe this approach has the potential to act quickly when misleading information spreads and to add context that people trust and find valuable. After all, we want to make notes directly on tweets visible to the global Twitter audience when a broad and diverse group of contributors agrees, ”said Keith Coleman, vice president of Twitter, on a blog post Office.

Key background

Twitter has long been under pressure to prevent misinformation from spreading on its platform. But only this year has the company taken more aggressive action. Twitter-checked tweets from former President Donald Trump and other politicians about Covid-19, mail-in-voting and the election results. These labels are linked to news organizations or other institutions that offer credible information. The social network eventually banned Trump completely, citing tweets that could lead to more violence after the Capitol uprising. However, Birdwatch’s intent is to extend these efforts beyond “circumstances where something is against our rules or receives widespread public attention,” said Coleman.