Twitter launched its fact-checking program ‘Birdwatch’ last year, which allows participants to highlight and correct misleading information across the platform. Twitter is now expanding Birdwatch by selecting larger groups of fact-checkers to the test on a more frequent basis.
This addition will also lead to an increasing number of contextual notes that contributors can add regarding misleading content, and collectively identify as Helpful. “This doesn’t mean you’ll start seeing notes on every Tweet, simply that a larger number of you will start seeing notes that have been rated Helpful,” clarifies Twitter.
Twitter also adds that it would be releasing an updated Birdwatch onboarding process that will better incentivize contributors, hence enabling them to write and rate notes in a thoughtful way.
Each new Birdwatch contributor will begin with an Impact Rating score at zero, which they can increase in two ways: rating other contributors’ notes and identifying Helpful and Unhelpful notes in a reliable manner. Moreover, contributors will be able to start writing notes once their score has risen to 5, and they can continue to increase it further.
The expansion of the program seems to be a worthy consideration, however, Twitter could face some potential challenges with its Birdwatch system. One of problems that the company has reportedly already encountered is having ended up accepting a QAnon supporter as a contributor. Even though the report confirms that Twitter eventually removed the individual, the incident indicates the possibility of infiltration and exploitation of the system. The expansion of the program, could therefore, increase the chances of the occurrence of such matters, especially during the pre-election period.