Published: 26th January 2021
Twitter launches community-based programme Birdwatch, asks users to fact-check tweets
Birdwatch allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading, and write notes that provide informative context
Twitter has launched a new community-based pilot programme called Birdwatch that allows people to identify information in Tweets they believe is misleading, and write notes that provide informative context. In this first phase of the pilot, notes will only be visible on a separate Birdwatch site.
On this site, pilot participants can also rate the helpfulness of notes added by other contributors. "These notes are being intentionally kept separate from Twitter for now, while we build Birdwatch and gain confidence that it produces context people find helpful and appropriate," Twitter said in a statement late on Monday. There will be about 1,000 users in the US to start with the Birdwatch programme. "Eventually we aim to make notes visible directly on Tweets for the global Twitter audience, when there is consensus from a broad and diverse set of contributors," Twitter said. "We believe this approach has the potential to respond quickly when misleading information spreads, adding context that people trust and find valuable"
To date, Twitter has conducted more than 100 qualitative interviews with individuals across the political spectrum who use Twitter, and received broad general support for Birdwatch. All data contributed to Birdwatch will be publicly available and downloadable. "As we develop algorithms that power Birdwatch such as reputation and consensus systems, we aim to publish that code publicly in the Birdwatch Guide," the company informed. Additionally, notes will not have an effect on the way people see Tweets or Twitter's system recommendations.