Twitter’s fact-checking program ‘Birdwatch’ has been updated with a new option that will let some users see Birdwatch notes directly on Tweets, as well as rate the notes.
The option is only available to a limited number of users in the US for now, according to Twitter.
Twitter has tested Birdwatch for about a year now, allowing its users to add notes to Tweets that they believe contain false or misleading information, so as to provide more context for anyone who comes across the information. By allowing users to rate the notes, Twitter intends to further improve Birdwatch’s ability to provide context that’s helpful.
This is indeed a valuable addition to the platform, as it would facilitate crowd-sourced fact-checking, while simultaneously reducing the spread of questionable claims across Twitter.
As stated by Twitter, for the notes to appear on the Tweets, they would be needed to be rated helpful by a sufficient number of Birdwatch contributors holding different points of view. Moreover, the difference in users’ opinions would be “determined by how people have rated notes in the past, not based on demographics.” This is an efficient approach, as it would likely somewhat limit any bias.
Regarding the update, Twitter’s GM of Consumer Services Kayvon Beykpour further revealed that the platform took inspiration from Wikipedia in this matter. “Everything we’ve learned so far makes us feel even more encouraged by the potential for impact as Birdwatch scales,” he said.
According to Twitter’s analysis, majority of its users who have seen Birdwatch notes have found them to be helpful, which indicates that the program is working successfully.